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unibroker
Premium
join:2010-11-12
Altadena, CA

Fusion Eligibility

I currently have Sonic as my ISP but have to maintain an AT&T dial tone. According to Sonic's website when I input my number it tells me that I'm 11,382 feet behind a remote terminal which blocks the Fusion signal. Do I have to be directly connected to the CO in order to get Fusion? I just want to be realistic in my hopes at some point to completely severing my dependence on AT&T.

Thanks in advance.



wa2ibm
Premium
join:2000-10-10
San Jose, CA

Yes, for Fusion, your local loop (wire pair) must be routed to the local Central Office (CO).

Remote Terminals are installed by AT&T when the local loop to the CO is too long to provide DSL service, bringing the DSLAM closer to the customer. You're currently on Sonic via the older line-shared contract with AT&T. Everyone in your local area is served from that RT. Even if you were to be able to get a pair directly to the CO, it would be much longer and the weaker signal would be drowned out by the stronger RT signals in adjacent pairs. It just wouldn't work.

Since you're in Southern California, you might check with DSLExtreme, which provides Fusion service (backed by Sonic) in your area.
--
- Bill


unibroker
Premium
join:2010-11-12
Altadena, CA

Thanks for the response. I looked into DSLX but was cooled by the amount of taxes they estimate (nearly $15/month) and some hideous reviews. I know that such reviews require further investigation. I just read a recent positive review where the poster was describing what amounted to naked dsl. Further quick investigation at the DSLX website tells me that it isn't offered.

Just curious why DSLX can offer to be the complete provider and Sonic cannot. I assume DSLX is using nearly same infrastructure as AT&T; surely not providing new.



leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:9
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

said by unibroker:

Just curious why DSLX can offer to be the complete provider and Sonic cannot.

Fusion service requires equipment from the ISP at the CO (telco central office). Sonic.net has installed this type of equipment in many Bay Area central offices while DSLX has installed such equipment in the LA area.

In both cases the copper wire infrastructure between the home and the central office is owned by the ILEC (AT&T), but both phone and Internet service are provided by the ISP. Fusion service is not available if the home is not served directly from a CO such as homes behind a RT (remote terminal) or VRAD (uverse neighborhood node). In some exceptional cases it may be possible to get a direct pair to the CO for a home previously served by RT or VRAD but in most cases the distance from the CO makes that an unattractive option (low speed due to distance).
--
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bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
reply to unibroker

DSL from an R/T via Sonic is a fine service. I've been using it for over 10 years now. Only 6Mb/s, but still good. Worth it for all the other stuff.


unibroker
Premium
join:2010-11-12
Altadena, CA

The Sonic component is not the problem. Because I'm so far from the RT, as stated in OP, I am getting the slowest speed (1.3M down, .3M up) but at least I get a stable connection. When AT&T was my ISP I had nothing but connection problems (I really think they were trying to get me to upgrade to uVerse). As soon as I switched to Sonic they had to call AT&T one time and magically my problems disappeared!

I am really hesitant to try DSLX just to remove all AT&T involvement. If I wasn't satisfied with DSLX my costs to reconnect with AT&T/Sonic would be substantial, including Sonic's monthly modem fee.

Thanks all.



wa2ibm
Premium
join:2000-10-10
San Jose, CA
reply to unibroker

said by unibroker:

Just curious why DSLX can offer to be the complete provider and Sonic cannot. I assume DSLX is using nearly same infrastructure as AT&T; surely not providing new.

Sonic is really two entities. There's the original Sonic.net ISP that provides Internet services via legacy AT&T DSL circuits and Fusion phone/Internet services. These services are based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Then there is Sonic Telecom. It was started by Sonic and is a qualified Competitive Local Exchange Carried (CLEC). Sonic Telecom provides the telephone and Internet infrastructure for Fusion service.

Sonic.net provides Fusion service (via Sonic Telecom) in their home territory (SF Bay). They have chosen to not offer service directly in other areas in competition with other smaller ISP's (DSLX for example).

However, Sonic Telecom has installed their equipment in other areas which it offers to other ISP's on a wholesale bases. ISP's in areas outside of SF Bay can offer Fusion service via a wholesale agreement with Sonic Telecom. Thus, DSLX is offering Fusion service because they have a wholesale agreement with Sonic Telecom.

All clear as mud.
--
- Bill

unibroker
Premium
join:2010-11-12
Altadena, CA

I've looked it over for the last time and have a few more questions.

It looks like the best option for me is DSLX Fusion which I am eligible for according to their website after filling out my location, phone number form. After adding their estimated taxes my monthly total is just about a wash with what I am currently paying. The difference is DSLX is advertising UP TO 5 mb/sec download as compared to the 1.3 mb/sec I currently get with Sonic. How realistic is it to expect this speed increase?

Sonic has been a joy to work with after AT&T. They told me about the slow connection even before I signed up with them. I assume because I am eligible for DSLX Fusion that I will be connected straight to the CO instead of the RT I am currently behind?

Lastly, from the DSLX FAQ: "New clients are required to lease an ADSL2+ modem from us on a free lease basis." What does "free lease basis" mean?

Thanks again.



leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:9
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

said by unibroker:

The difference is DSLX is advertising UP TO 5 mb/sec download as compared to the 1.3 mb/sec I currently get with Sonic. How realistic is it to expect this speed increase?

Assuming no changes to the copper pair, just a change from an AT&T DSLAM provisioned at the 1.5Mbps ADSL1 tier to Fusion (ADSL2+) a speed of 3 to 5 Mbps is realistic. This is based in part on the assumption that your line is capable of up to 2 Mbps even with ADSL1 if AT&T provisions you at 1.5 Mbps. If there is a distance increase by going from RT to CO the ADSL2+ speeds could be a lot less. How certain are you that you are currently provisioned off an RT ?

said by unibroker:

Lastly, from the DSLX FAQ: "New clients are required to lease an ADSL2+ modem from us on a free lease basis." What does "free lease basis" mean?

My guess is that they want to make it really clear that the modem is and remains their property (since a lot of DSL customers are used to own the modem after paying the setup fees). Free lease sounds like there is no separate line item on your bill for a monthly modem fee.
--
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unibroker
Premium
join:2010-11-12
Altadena, CA

Every time a tech was sent out here from AT&T they said that I was connected to a RT. Sonic confirmed this. I read someplace that I was over 11,000' from the RT which is why the slow speed.



leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:9
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

Fusion cannot be provided from an RT. Unfortunately there is really no good way to guess how well a different copper pair to the CO will perform for you. In most cases the reason to be put on a RT is distance from the CO (which would mean your distance will increase). However it might have also been a capacity issue (no spare DSLAM ports at the CO or no free copper pairs going there at that time) in which case (rare) the distance to the CO might actually be less.

You could check the CO-locator here at dslreports.com and see how far away your home is from the nearest CO but that will only give you a minimum distance since it won't tell you how the cables are routed through the streets.
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!


unibroker
Premium
join:2010-11-12
Altadena, CA

The fact that I couldn't get Fusion from behind a RT was discussed earlier in the thread. As a side note; I am hooked up for uVerse as the AT&T tech found out when he checked the connection at the pole. I remain convinced that I had poor dsl connection when I got internet from AT&T because they wanted me to switch to uVerse. As soon as I got Sonic to provide my dsl connection the connection problems disappeared.