Good "No caps; competent support staff; good company" Bad "I can't get Fusion; non-fiber service hinges on AT&T infrastructure" Overall "An ISP that cares about its customers as well as its bottom line"
Pre Sales information: Install Co-ordination: Connection reliability: Tech Support: Services: Value for money:
EDIT: System asked for an update. Sonic continues to be a great ISP. While our underlying AT&T service has seen price increases, our Sonic ADSL1 service has remained steady. Service has been very stable. I can't create another review for Sonic, but my parents' service from Sonic.net is also working well. They have seen service features added such as free calls to all 50 states, free calls to most-called country per continent, free static IP with no additional increase in monthly payment. My in-laws have seen their U-verse go from a promotional $50/month to $70 for 1.5Mbps service.
EDIT: got the go-live date incorrect. The thread linked at the bottom has the correct dates.
I switched from 6Mbps AT&T legacy ADSL1 service after being served by them for around 10 years because of its transfer cap policy. Having seen Dane's interview at Triangulation »twit.tv/tri5 I decided to give them a try. It's unfortunate I couldn't get Fusion since I'm served off a remote terminal. Sonic also resells AT&T's legacy ADSL1 services but requires that I remain an AT&T phone customer. This is the route I took. Since I just switched ADSL1 providers, the turnaround was ~3 days--I was told 3-5 days--instead of the 5-14 for Fusion. The longer forecast is for people who have AT&T U-verse and a new wire needs to be pulled to a customer's home. The actual go live date was a Monday morning.
Sonic's CPE use ATM bridged encapsulation instead of PPPoE so my Netopia 3546-002 continues to work with the same VPI/VCI numbers with the required change in encapsulation. I was confused by a modem's network bridge mode vs. ATM bridged encapsulation but the people in the Sonic.net forum set me straight.
They offer a modem with rebate for the cost of the device if you sign up for 12 months. The rebate does not include shipping charge. I found that attractive and if things work out, I will give the modem to my parents as I migrate them away from AT&T as they qualify for Sonic Fusion. Sonic currently has a 12-month commitment discount of $20/month over the regular price of $39.95/month for 6Mbps. The monthly cost I entered does not include this discount but includes my AT&T telco portion--and is essentially the same price as my old AT&T package. If I could get Fusion, my cost would have dropped to around $50.
Sonic offers some free services to their ISP customers. Their webpage describes them in detail but the one I thought was valuable is FAX send and receive capability--which I've used several times already. An interesting retro service is shell access but you need to register first as I was not able to login. You're also given free web space with some quota but I have not provisioned the service either. Finally, a nice touch is they provide a Cisco VPN client for their VPN gateways.
A caveat for people considering going to Sonic from AT&T ADSL1 to Sonic ADSL1 is you need to let Sonic know your current speed so you can carry that over. Some people have had AT&T's 6Mbps package but got bumped down to 3Mbps after the switch over and AT&T would not re-provision the line at 6Mbps.