New Customer - Using own Equipment Question?

General discussions and other topics.
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by tianzki » Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:01 am
I am new customer and newbie. I just signed up for Fiber-optic Internet and I chose "Opt out from Sonic WiFi." I have few questions and clarification about this.
  1. Since I chose "Opt out from Sonic WiFi." and will use my own equipment (wifi router), will I still be provided a gateway (based from my researched -> AT&T gateway - BGW320) ??
  2. If not provided, what type of gateway I can use? any particular brand?
  3. Is it true that Fiber-optic Internet comes with VoIP? if so, how I do setup this? like what kind of equipment I need? I just want to utilize what services will be provided.

Thank you in advance. Sorry that I have so many questions.
by briancw » Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:48 pm
Hi tianzki,

For starters. Welcome to Sonic! I'll get this all cleared up for you.

You've signed up for our direct fiber through Sonic and therefore you'll only truly be required to have our ONT(optical network terminal) connected for service to function. That wee little powered device will have an ethernet port and a telephone jack. The ethernet for either a device with ethernet directly to the port or a router to said port.

As far as the router is concerned, you've got a pretty open playing field. The ONT is set to accept a DHCP connection from whatever is plugged in. The important detail though is that the router (if 3rd party) needs to have gigabit capable ports. As the ethernet ports are a key feature in many routers any online or brick and mortar retailer will have the speed on the ports listed fairly prominently.

There is a key caveat to disclose in the case of using your own equipment that would need to be kept in mind. Sonic's techs are not able to provide any support for 3rd party equipment beyond a few very limited steps as they are not training on said equipment. Additionally, if there is an on-site technician visit and the problem is with 3rd party equipment the visit is a billable one so it is critical that we do any troubleshooting to identify where any prospective problem is.

That sounds a bit ominous but is actually not too bad at all. Plugging an ethernet connected device to the ONT directly and running a speed test is more or less a godsend of a technique to test the connection. Our techs are very much keen on ruling out 3rd party equipment.

The easy part is the phone, the ONT has that telephone jack. It will accept any standard landline telephone just like any regular phone jack, this one just happens to be riding shotgun on an ONT.

I took the time to look at the status of your order. You have a pre-order at current and your service will be still some ways off. The Sonic Construction Team is finishing up work in the Central Office and we will be meeting with the city to wrap up final inspections. Once completed, we will hand off to our splicing team (the team that connects our fiber cables together).

I sure hope this wall of text isn't too offputting.
1. You can use your own equipment.
2. Any router that is gigabit capable and set to connect via DHCP (which is more or less standard behavior out of the box these days
3. The service comes with VoIP and it basically functions and connects like a regular ole analog phone.

I hope this clears everything up

Best wishes,
Brian W
Community & Escalations Specialist
by charles2 » Thu Jun 17, 2021 2:09 pm
I too am on pre-order and had similar questions. As best as I can tell, the confusion comes from the word "gateway," as though it is a fancy piece of equipment different from a modem or a router. AT&T calls its Arris BGWxxx box a gateway, but it is just a router. Every fiber installation needs to change over from fiber (light) to electrical, usually Ethernet cable. The box that does that is the ONT. AT&T installs one when you buy its fiber service, and Sonic installs its ONT when you but its native fiber service.

Routers take an electrical signal (Ethernet) in from the ONT (or from a DSL modem if the outside source is over copper), then spread it around the network by both Ethernet and wi-fi, per the connections you set up.

Unfortunately, AT&T put some of the necessary handshake in the Arris BGW box, so that as practical matter, you must connect it, not your own router, to the ONT. Then AT&T calls the box a gateway.

Sonic did the rational thing, putting this handshake in its ONT so that it can connect to nearly any router.
by briancw » Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:16 pm
You're the best charles2, that is correct. I too agree that making the ONT the final required point for the direct fiber is a huge plus. Frankly, while he both prefer and heavily advise to go with our routers, the option to use one's own if the cases where that is the preferred option to go with a 3rd party it is nice to have the option there.
Brian W
Community & Escalations Specialist
by tianzki » Thu Jun 17, 2021 7:13 pm
Hi briancw and charles2. You're both the best!!

Thank you very much for the detailed information. That really helps me a lot.

I just worried that it will take a while for us to get the services. Do you know by any chance if Sonic can adjust the days that we haven't use the services? I know I got free months of service. But like if I signed up on June 14 then if the services started on July 14, I already lost a month of service.
by briancw » Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:32 am
You are very welcome. The good news about these preorders is that they essentially hold the initial payment and begin counting after the installer marks the job done on the day of. So technically the clock is currently paused on that first month until you are up and running.
Brian W
Community & Escalations Specialist
by enoch » Thu Jul 08, 2021 5:34 pm
Hi folks!

I am a long-time Sonic customer (and past employee for that matter) and I personally use a 3rd Party router as some of my hosting needs require it. However, I keep the rental router on hand in case Sonic Techs need to troubleshoot my line, and for emergencies (such as my 3rd party router fails, which has happened 2x since getting Fusion).

Hope that helps!
by tianzki » Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:59 am
Hi briancw,

Just want to ask if you have any updates from Sonic Construction Team and if it's available in my area. I requested this last June. You mentioned that "The Sonic Construction Team is finishing up work in the Central Office and we will be meeting with the city to wrap up final inspections" I just wondering if it's done. Thanks.
by brandonc » Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:23 pm
Hey there, I'm sorry about the delay getting back to you on this.

As you might already have seen in our September update email, our workforce isn't currently large enough to complete the project in the initial estimated completion time unfortunately and due to that we have to push out the estimated completion to Spring 2022 in your area. Of course, if we are able to build-up our workforce again, then we can re-evaluate the completion time and update everyone further.

Hopefully, we are able to do that quickly and get the project done sooner than currently anticipated!

If you have anymore questions or concerns, please let me know.

Kind regards,
Brandon C.
Community and Escalations
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