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unibroker
Premium
join:2010-11-12
Altadena, CA
reply to NormanS

Re: Modem rental?

While not happy with the change, even though it doesn't affect me in the near term, I do have to commend Dane in fielding questions/comments. That is where Sonic is still different than its competitors.


klui

join:2001-11-08
Castro Valley, CA

said by unibroker:

...I do have to commend Dane in fielding questions/comments.

I agree.


PremTech101

@aircloud.com
reply to DaneJasper

There is no tax on the modem rental; we pay sales tax on the modems when we buy them from the manufacturer, so there is no "use tax" on the $6.50 equipment fee.

A couple points:

Comcast will allow customers who do not have voice phone service to supply their own equipment, from a list of compatible devices. Those who have telephone service must have an "eMTA" device, of where there are only a couple options, and customers in some areas are barred from supplying their own. The outcome is that the vast majority of Comcast customers do rent equipment from them.

AT&T's U-Verse service, VDSL from the VRAD, IPTV etc - requires their equipment, and the equipment and $6.00/mo fee is mandatory. Additionally they charge for the set-top boxes, wireless TV device if you want it, etc.

-Dane

Just an FYI if you go stand alone internet you have the option of buying the U-verse RG. So you WONT have a $6 rental fee in that case.

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16

Not just for stand alone internet. If you go U-verse internet and phone you can still buy the modem (RG).


Tobester

join:2000-11-14
San Francisco, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to NormanS

I have been following this thread and have been a big supporter of the Sonic Fusion product and their great technical support.

However, this mandatory modem charge for new customers should not be the only option offered. Sonic should allow a choice of purchasing a modem up front, or monthly modem rental charges.

Dane is incorrect when he states all carriers have mandatory monthly modem charges.

I just ran a qualification for my address in San Francisco for AT&T U-Verse and they show a one-time modem purchase charge of $100 for a wireless Internet Gateway, model IP IG51X.

Sonic has stubbed their toe with the short notice, and by using the adage "all carriers do it."



DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

said by Tobester:

Dane is incorrect when he states all carriers have mandatory monthly modem charges.

I just ran a qualification for my address in San Francisco for AT&T U-Verse and they show a one-time modem purchase charge of $100 for a wireless Internet Gateway, model IP IG51X.

AT&T's equipment fee is confusing, in that it only applies to their traditional U-verse service. This is the product that offers service via VDSL2, where TV, Internet and phone are all offered. For the standard U-verse product, they charge a $6/mo equipment fee.

In San Francisco, they have a product they now call "U-verse", but it is not the same - it is CO-delivered ADSL, and no TV is offered. I think the maximum speed is 12Mbps. For this product they will sell you a modem, rather than rent one. (Note that SF just approved roll-out of the cabinets required for standard U-verse, so you'll see this change in SF before long - as soon as a region has cabinets deployed, it's full U-verse, and thus equipment fee, TV available, max 24Mbps speed, etc.)

Comcast charges an equipment fee, of $7/mo - but they do allow you to avoid this by registering your own equipment, from a list of approved devices. Most customers do simply pay Comcast for equipment. (I have seen mixed messages about customer-owned equipment for end-users who have voice service, an eMTA is required, and it sounds like some have had challenges finding available approved equipment, or getting it activated.)

-Dane

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16

Sorry Dane but you are wrong... I live in an area with full U-verse and I can still purchase the VDSL2 modem (RG) provided I do not get the TV service.



DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

said by Zeonis:

Sorry Dane but you are wrong... I live in an area with full U-verse and I can still purchase the VDSL2 modem (RG) provided I do not get the TV service.

I based my research on the information on their website, which says the equipment fee applies, and this was confirmed by a call. But, perhaps you just have to push, and talk to the right rep, it could be that the one we spoke with to confirm was not fully informed.

-Dane

nuthead85

join:2008-03-05
Oakland, CA
reply to NormanS

I have been eying residential fusion for about 1-2 yrs with high interest.

But now Sonic.net decides to add a modem rental fee for their equipment which allows them to identify any problems more efficiently.

But I have a question, before Sonic.net had modem rental, everyone could buy a modem from Sonic.net or elsewhere. I remember reading somewhere that within the clause there was no insurance (AT&T calls it WirePro), so if the line was faulty in anyway, we needed to pay some fee for a technician to come and fix it.

Well, now that we are required to rent the equipment, does this fee cover the identification of faulty lines/equipments and the requirement to fix it with no additional charge (Including phone line)?

Or everything is still the same. The rental fee is only good for the faulty equipment replacement.


mc510

join:2005-06-20
Berkeley, CA

Do all of the FCC and local utility user taxes apply to the new modem rental fee? Given that the fee will appear on the same utility bill, I imagine that the answer is yes, but it would be good to know if I'm wrong. At $40/month, I'd sign up for Fusion in a heartbeat. At $52 (with taxes) I'm strongly inclined. At almost $60 (with modem rental, and maybe additional taxes), I'm probably going to pass.



DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

said by mc510:

Do all of the FCC and local utility user taxes apply to the new modem rental fee? Given that the fee will appear on the same utility bill, I imagine that the answer is yes, but it would be good to know if I'm wrong. At $40/month, I'd sign up for Fusion in a heartbeat. At $52 (with taxes) I'm strongly inclined. At almost $60 (with modem rental, and maybe additional taxes), I'm probably going to pass.

No, there are not taxes that apply to modem rental. When we buy them, we pay sales/use tax, and are then allowed to rent without charging you any tax.

This is, BTW, one good argument for separating the equipment from the service. Some have suggested (paraphrased): "If Fusion needs to cost $5 more, just raise the price to $45 instead of hiding it in an equipment fee." But if we were to do that, the entire myriad taxes and fees would apply, so it's nice not to be in that situation.

-Dane

mc510

join:2005-06-20
Berkeley, CA

said by DaneJasper:

This is, BTW, one good argument for separating the equipment from the service. Some have suggested (paraphrased): "If Fusion needs to cost $5 more, just raise the price to $45 instead of hiding it in an equipment fee." But if we were to do that, the entire myriad taxes and fees would apply, so it's nice not to be in that situation.

Thanks Dane, I'm glad to know that you're thinking about this. This must have come up before, but the same logic would suggest that you separate the $39.95 base service into two line items, one for local phone service (to which the myriad of federal, state, and local taxes would apply), and one for the internet portion (for which few or no taxes would be applied). This is not to suggest that the voice line be optional, just that billing be structured in a way to minimize the crazy tax hit. (You've probably discussed this in another thread, but I couldn't find it.)


DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

said by mc510:

Thanks Dane, I'm glad to know that you're thinking about this. This must have come up before, but the same logic would suggest that you separate the $39.95 base service into two line items, one for local phone service (to which the myriad of federal, state, and local taxes would apply), and one for the internet portion (for which few or no taxes would be applied). This is not to suggest that the voice line be optional, just that billing be structured in a way to minimize the crazy tax hit. (You've probably discussed this in another thread, but I couldn't find it.)

Yes, for taxing purposes, Fusion at $39.95 is divided into a voice portion at $19.97 and a data portion at $19.98. (Clearly, it is a bundle, and neither is available separately, as each uses the same underlying facilities.)

tech_head

join:2001-03-01
Hayward, CA

I personally don't like the modem rental structure.
I have had an issue for about the last month and the only way to really diagnose it is to get a new modem on the line just to be sure, that is not the modem.

I'm willing to buy a new modem, but was told my option was to do the rental dance. I have legacy DSL with no option for Fusion because I'm connected to a remote terminal.

My only option was to go buy a modem, but here again, there is a problem because the techs don't give any information about what type to buy.

I don't want the Sonic equipment, because I don't want a router. I want a bridge and a bridge only. I use a SonicWall TZ100 to do all my routing.



NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

said by tech_head:

I'm willing to buy a new modem, but was told my option was to do the rental dance. I have legacy DSL with no option for Fusion because I'm connected to a remote terminal.

My only option was to go buy a modem, but here again, there is a problem because the techs don't give any information about what type to buy.

Modem stats page could help; but legacy DSL is 'at&t Yahoo! HSI' resold. Your modem should report 'G.DMT', which is ADSL. Some SpeedStream 4100s misreported that as, 'ANSI' with the latest firmware.
said by tech_head:

I'm willing to buy a new modem, but was told my option was to do the rental dance. I have legacy DSL with no option for Fusion because I'm connected to a remote terminal.

My only option was to go buy a modem, but here again, there is a problem because the techs don't give any information about what type to buy.

Modem stats page could help; but legacy DSL is 'at
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum