I first want to say that I’m an advocate for Sonic and a customer in various capacities with Sonic for the past 8 years.
I get why Sonic had to provide voice lines with their ADSL and FTTN fusion services as they basically operated as MVNO’s in partnership with AT&T, ran over copper lines. Sonic’s now offering fiber throughout vast areas of San Francisco which you and your amazing team have spent an insurmountable amount of financial investment and time. I can’t appreciate Sonic’s endeavor enough. I have had multiple discussions with friends to convince them to switch to Sonic and I keep hearing the same thing: Sonic advertises at $40 a month but there’s so many fees and taxes associated with the voice line which goes unused.
What happened in North Bay is sad, I am happy to hear you’re helping rebuild the infustructure in those effected communities. However, it in no way will operate better in an emergency than current infustructure of micro cells from multiple cellular carriers spread throughout the city. Even if one carrier’s cell site is not functioning in the users area, their call to 911 is routed to any available cell site. We also have emergency alert systems in place that were not preemptively or effectively used during the north bay fires. When users now sign up for cellular service they also have to select an e-911 address for each line of service, therefor providing emergency services with a valid address in case one is not verbally provided or the recieving local emergency center doesn’t have a functioning e-911 system. I know that most emergency centers, unfortunately, can’t always obtain an address from e-911 and so your point on reverse lookups is valid, it’s not solid. Say a user was at home when they make the call to 911, then the emergency responders will always be provided the default e-911 address to that line of service. So, I’m not sure how Sonic’s VoIP would be better in cases of emergencies. Especially when land line usage and infustructure is shrinking it becomes apparent that services like Sonic should redirect investment in IP based emergency technologies.
Sonic is a private company, so asking how providing VoIP services supports Sonic’s overall Fiber product (not FTTN and ADSL) is something I’ll assume will go answered. I will make the assumption that it subsidizes the cost of the contract between Sonic to use AT&T’s infustructure for FTTN and ADSL services, especially as those customers are switched to FTTH. This seems to be apparent in some of the marketing material for those who sign up for one of those two services in anticipation of fiber being provided at their address. However, Sonic is attempting to brand itself as the antithesis of Comcast and AT&T, and by bundling voice with its fiber service without providing the customer an option of forgoing voice, producing a product in the same schemes of Comcast and AT&T.
I would love to go into the question as to why Sonic gives a $10 credit when you rent a router at $9.5p/month but that’s for another discussion.
But, if Sonic is not willing to forgo its bundled voice line, market it like T-Mobile and create a product with a flat rate of $60 a month if customers provide their router, $70 if Sonic provides it, and make tax included? It would at least minimize the frustration people have around the perceived false marketing and remove the new customer marketing scheme that most people destest.
Just my 2¢.