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Sonic CEO Chimes In On U.S. Duopoly
And Brings News Of Another Fusion Price Drop
by Karl Bode 09:46AM Monday Mar 07 2011 Tipped by DaneJasper See Profile
As one of the few independent ISPs to survive the U.S. CLEC-pocalypse and begin building their own network, Sonic.net has a unique perspective on the broadband business. CEO Dane Jasper posts an interesting blog entry discussing the current U.S. broadband market, and our shift from the initial effort to implement open access networks to our current incumbent-dominated monopoly/duopoly market. Jasper has more than a few opinions on that front, including a few comments on how cable operators are naturally inclined to cap and meter to thwart Internet video, and this jab at the often confusing pricing employed by incumbents on their bundle offers:
quote:
I won’t deny the innovation that has occurred in the telco/cable duopoly. They’ve got TV, Internet and telephone bundles designed to serve up prime time network shows in over-saturated HD glory, with comparatively middling Internet speeds, all offered with teaser rates and terms that would baffle an economics professor. The clear value of the bundle is to baffle, and pity the consumer who wants to shed a component. At least during the intro periods, it’s often cheaper to take the whole package than just a component or two.
Jasper, who is a regular presence in our forums, also takes a moment to note that the company has again dropped the price tag on their bonded ADSL2+ "Fusion" service, such drops becoming a consistent practice by the company. Pricing on the 20-40 Mbps service can be found here.

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topics flat nest 

rameus
Who's got my pickle?
Premium
join:2001-01-28
Martinez, CA

More for less

Here's to Sonic's success. I just joined the Fusion subscribers. Hasn't even gone live yet but if Sonic delivers the goods, I will have dramatically improved speed and saved money on phone/ ISP monthly.
ISP review to follow shortly after GO Live date.

r

MEohME

@wideopenwest.com

Re: More for less

and that's what happens when you have a company that builds its network. They don't have to rely on what prices they pay the actual network- *cough DSLX with T*. When companies build out they save money and pass that onto the customers. If more and more companies did with Sonic does they'd be in better boats with their customers. Instead they just want to leach off the entire network. Granted Sonic does lease the last mile copper but at least MUCH of the network is THEIRs including their DSLAMs. Many other ISPs could do the same but refuse to. It's just cheaper to resell and then stick the customers to the hot iron when their wholesale fees go up. If DSLX did the same thing as Sonic they'd have a better product too and stop passing bottom of the line "taxes" that don't even exist just to make up for the difference they're losing when trying to undercut. (and BTW- DSLX is owned by the LARGEST wholesale DSL/Dial-up company the the US- they've been in business longer than a good share of 95% of the ISPs in business today)

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Re: More for less

"Many other ISPs could do the same but refuse to."

There are others but it's a long and expensive transition to make. In some areas it's just not cost effective because the penetration needed to support such a build out isn't there. One thing that Dane has going for him in California is a large potential customer base. Take what he is doing and do that in Arkansas and your per use expenses climb quite a bit.

That makes the investment much more of a risk and often the numbers just don't make good business.

MEohME

@wideopenwest.com

Re: More for less

very true and I understand that. But it's the fact that most claim that you only get "competition" when reselling. When in fact it's not the same. The Telco Act created competition by doing the build outs. but nobody decided to do them except a hand few. the ones that did ended up going belly up when the Local ILECs decided they could go into the DSL business and well and run everyone else out (Northpoint comes to mind) and then purchase them in bankruptcy so nobody else can compete and let their network rot.

I'd actually like to see Dane start running FTTH instead of waiting on Google to get their shit together. FTTH expenses could out weigh this buildout. Especially if started to partner with small towns/cities and sub-divisions.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1
said by MEohME :

and that's what happens when you have a company that builds its network. They don't have to rely on what prices they pay the actual network- *cough DSLX with T*. When companies build out they save money and pass that onto the customers. If more and more companies did with Sonic does they'd be in better boats with their customers. Instead they just want to leach off the entire network. Granted Sonic does lease the last mile copper but at least MUCH of the network is THEIRs including their DSLAMs. Many other ISPs could do the same but refuse to. It's just cheaper to resell and then stick the customers to the hot iron when their wholesale fees go up. If DSLX did the same thing as Sonic they'd have a better product too and stop passing bottom of the line "taxes" that don't even exist just to make up for the difference they're losing when trying to undercut. (and BTW- DSLX is owned by the LARGEST wholesale DSL/Dial-up company the the US- they've been in business longer than a good share of 95% of the ISPs in business today)

Are you daft? Who has the monstrous capital required to build out their own network? What public WANTS to see 4 companies tearing up roads and building out wires in an insanely inefficient manner?

It's not just building the network either. After the first 5-10% penetration the rest of your customers have to be stolen from the incumbent. You also need vastly lower initial rates and an incredible PR campaign.

The reason no one does this isn't because they're "lazy" or "cheap". I can't even begin to describe how pathetic it is for you to lambast the lack of competition on human personality deficiencies. It's because IT'S A TERRIBLE BUSINESS DECISION.

If you have the BILLIONS necessary to endure the insanely long period of time (10 years) to get a foothold and become profitable in the ISP business, why wouldn't you spend it somewhere else?

Your assertions are inane and close-minded. It's beyond irritating.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: More for less

said by sonicmerlin:

said by MEohME :

and that's what happens when you have a company that builds its network. They don't have to rely on what prices they pay the actual network- *cough DSLX with T*. When companies build out they save money and pass that onto the customers. If more and more companies did with Sonic does they'd be in better boats with their customers. Instead they just want to leach off the entire network. Granted Sonic does lease the last mile copper but at least MUCH of the network is THEIRs including their DSLAMs. Many other ISPs could do the same but refuse to. It's just cheaper to resell and then stick the customers to the hot iron when their wholesale fees go up. If DSLX did the same thing as Sonic they'd have a better product too and stop passing bottom of the line "taxes" that don't even exist just to make up for the difference they're losing when trying to undercut. (and BTW- DSLX is owned by the LARGEST wholesale DSL/Dial-up company the the US- they've been in business longer than a good share of 95% of the ISPs in business today)

Are you daft? Who has the monstrous capital required to build out their own network? What public WANTS to see 4 companies tearing up roads and building out wires in an insanely inefficient manner?

It's not just building the network either. After the first 5-10% penetration the rest of your customers have to be stolen from the incumbent. You also need vastly lower initial rates and an incredible PR campaign.

The reason no one does this isn't because they're "lazy" or "cheap". I can't even begin to describe how pathetic it is for you to lambast the lack of competition on human personality deficiencies. It's because IT'S A TERRIBLE BUSINESS DECISION.

If you have the BILLIONS necessary to endure the insanely long period of time (10 years) to get a foothold and become profitable in the ISP business, why wouldn't you spend it somewhere else?

Your assertions are inane and close-minded. It's beyond irritating.

wow... time of the month? Your posts have been pretty angry today.

Otto Pylot

@attens.net
I've had SonicFusion for awhile now having been a Sonic customer for years. At 3500 copper feet, I get 21.2Mbps download speed with rock steady performance. At about $40 per month for my DSL and AT&T (Sonic now) landline, I couldn't be happier. I hope they continue to build out so more people can take advantage of this excellent ISP.

MEohME

@wideopenwest.com

Re: More for less

No, not Sonic landline, STILL ATT from the CO to your home. Sonic only resells the Voice or provides VoIP over the Copper/Internet and provides the DSL. IF anything where to happen to the copper- ATT still is to be called. Sonic won't be able to touch it.
polpo

join:2010-06-17
Cupertino, CA

Re: More for less

The voice service on Sonic.net's Fusion is POTS, not VoIP.
NgtFlyer

join:2000-07-09
Marietta, GA

I wish Sonic much success

There needs to be more ISPs like Sonic. I've been a long time Speakeasy customer and, well, post merger, it's been kind of a rocky road.

I hope Sonic has plans to deploy over here in the metro Atlanta area. I wish I could get the kind of speed the Cable operators can offer without having to deal with the Cable company.

I hope they enjoy a long successful future.

MEohME

@wideopenwest.com

Re: I wish Sonic much success

Speakeasy was rocky WELL before their merger. I tired getting service with them before WOW moved into my city the rest of the way. I went from not getting service with them to "missed appointments" by me according to Covad when I didn't even have an appointment to not 'being serviced by the CO" Then Speakeasy decided to charge me over $300 for fees of service that NEVER was turned on. let alone I could get. I don't see Sonic expanding outside of their current areas as that is their nitch. Stay small stay local. If they expand- they'll lose the home town feel over night.

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

Build that network.

Then I will cry that I cannot have access to it to compete with you.

I will be looking for 100/100 to every outhouse from Sonic soon.

MEohME

@wideopenwest.com

Re: Build that network.

The way it should be though. That's what everyone wants. A free ride to compete. Especially if the FCC decides to bring the Internet under Title II.

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

Re: Build that network.

said by MEohME :

The way it should be though. That's what everyone wants. A free ride to compete. Especially if the FCC decides to bring the Internet under Title II.

It would be difficult if not imposable to force Verizon to wholesale FiOS. Verizon would never have built FTTP if they wern't given the guarantee that they would not have to treat it like copper.

The "last mile" is short but it is the most expensive and labor intensive tube to supply and maintain. Any MCI/WorldCom can serve up Kool-Aid as long as they don't have to send a tech out and crawl under every house in the country.

MEohME

@wideopenwest.com

Re: Build that network.

very true and i know that. The same thing with U-Verse. That is not shared either and once you actually switch to U-Verse, like VZ, you are unable to obtain any other services. And to most people's knowledge a good share of the Midwestern ATT (IL, MI and WI) has FTTH by ATT. It was part of Project Lightspeed. They rebuilt entire cities and pulled ALL copper out of the areas.

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

Re: Build that network.

said by MEohME :

very true and i know that. The same thing with U-Verse. That is not shared either and once you actually switch to U-Verse, like VZ, you are unable to obtain any other services.

Well there is the CATV company and I heard that Google is going to wire FTTP for the entire US of A. Not only that it will be a totally open network with Google only maintaining it at a wholesale level.
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON

Re: Build that network.

said by batterup:

I heard that Google is going to wire FTTP for the entire US of A.

You must be smoking a lot of crack.

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

Re: Build that network.

said by 34764170:

said by batterup:

I heard that Google is going to wire FTTP for the entire US of A.

You must be smoking a lot of crack.

No I read it on the interweb. I'm sure they won't stop until they reach the Atlantic.

This may look like cherry picking to some though.
quote:
Google has selected local Internet provider Sonic.net as a partner for its high-profile project to deliver ultra-fast broadband services to a select few homes in the South Bay.
»www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20···12131005
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON

Re: Build that network.

said by batterup:

said by 34764170:

said by batterup:

I heard that Google is going to wire FTTP for the entire US of A.

You must be smoking a lot of crack.

No I read it on the interweb. I'm sure they won't stop until they reach the Atlantic.

A "select few houses" is not the entire US.

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

Re: Build that network.

said by 34764170:

A "select few houses" is not the entire US.

OK it was a joke just like Google buying spectrum and building a cellular network for the leeches.
CWO333

join:2005-02-24
Chicago, IL
said by MEohME :
And to most people's knowledge a good share of the Midwestern ATT (IL, MI and WI) has FTTH by ATT. It was part of Project Lightspeed. They rebuilt entire cities and pulled ALL copper out of the areas.
They didn't do that here in Chicago... I live in a very highly populated area on the NW side of the city and I can't even get UVerse... There is no FTTH to be found anywhere near this area.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink
said by batterup:

said by MEohME :

The way it should be though. That's what everyone wants. A free ride to compete. Especially if the FCC decides to bring the Internet under Title II.

It would be difficult if not imposable to force Verizon to wholesale FiOS. Verizon would never have built FTTP if they wern't given the guarantee that they would not have to treat it like copper.

Nope, not exactly.

It would be very easy for a populist candidate to run on a platform of "Broadband Equity", and "put his boot to Verizon's Neck". Considering that VZ *already* was wholesaling Fios, voluntarily, clearly, it can be done. Not without consequences, but it could be done.

You're absolutely right, VZ would not have built out their network without forbearance. And if the government renegs on their commitment, few others will risk their capital to follow in VZ's footsteps; there would be huge damages due VZ, in the high 10 figures.

On top of that, further network development would probably cease, as ISPs nationwide see no further profit potential, so if you don't already have Fios / Docsis 3.0 / UVerse VDSL2, you probably wouldn't be getting an upgrade.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1
said by MEohME :

The way it should be though. That's what everyone wants. A free ride to compete. Especially if the FCC decides to bring the Internet under Title II.

I'm assuming by "free ride" you're referring to the incumbents. AT&T and Verizon's lines were paid for by taxpayers decades ago. They never had to build out anything. And they've pocketed hundreds of billions in USF fees that were never, *ever* tracked or audited. Oh and don't forget all the rights of way and anti-competition regulation they've benefited from (North Carolina comes to mind). Your disgusting bias is showing.

Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:22

Good luck

They sound very TekSavvy-like. Good luck to them.

MEohME

@wideopenwest.com

Re: Good luck

they are NO way just like TekSavvy. TekSavvy is a TOTALLY different company that relies soley on reselling a network from start to finish. The only thing they provide is their own bandwidth to the Internet. Sonic.net OWNS their DSLAMs something that TekSavvy/Rocky can NOT say they do for their customers. And the ones that they could say - are VERY VERY few. American companies were REQUIRED to build out. Sonic.net was the ONLY one to actually do so and still doing it.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Good luck

said by MEohME :

they are NO way just like TekSavvy. TekSavvy is a TOTALLY different company that relies soley on reselling a network from start to finish. The only thing they provide is their own bandwidth to the Internet. Sonic.net OWNS their DSLAMs something that TekSavvy/Rocky can NOT say they do for their customers. And the ones that they could say - are VERY VERY few. American companies were REQUIRED to build out. Sonic.net was the ONLY one to actually do so and still doing it.

You realize Teksavvy has its own cable lines in certain parts of Canada, right?

As they make money through line rental they are able to build out more and more of their lines.

How do you think free.fr came to be in France? They were a third party ISP renting lines from France Telecom years ago, and as they made money they built out their own lines.
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON

Re: Good luck

said by sonicmerlin:

You realize Teksavvy has its own cable lines in certain parts of Canada, right?

No, they don't have their own cable lines.

Pashune
Caps stifle innovation
Premium
join:2006-04-14
Gautier, MS
Reviews:
·Vonage
·CableOne
said by Guspaz:

They sound very TekSavvy-like. Good luck to them.

I second this. Though Sonic.net will probably never service my area (wish they would!), here's to them against the competition of bigger ISPs. Plus, I mean c'mon, they share the same name of one of my favorite video game characters.. before he made his 3D transition anyway, but that's another story.

Hats off to Sonic.net
--
TV: It's like the Internet only you can visit only 30-100 different sites, ever, and there's no adblock. -dwai
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON
said by Guspaz:

They sound very TekSavvy-like. Good luck to them.

Except much better.

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ
Exactly what does this flavor of the month have that is so great that the average run-of-the-mill CLEC does not? A dollar to a doughnut at&t provides 99 and 44/100% of their network.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:22

Re: Good luck

AT&T? Huh? TekSavvy is the largest independent ISP in Canada. AT&T provides 0% of their network.

TekSavvy offers wholesale DSL and cable internet service, and is currently in the process of deploying various other solutions, such as colocated DSLAMs, fibre-to-the-home, and fixed wireless.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

Re: Good luck

said by Guspaz:

AT&T? Huh? TekSavvy is the largestindependent ISP in Canada. AT&T provides 0% of their network.

Whatever; they supply nothing but a billing scheme.
unoriginal
Premium
join:2000-07-12
San Diego, CA

What happens when the line needs repairs?

Since Sonic uses copper for their service what happens when it needs servicing? The site says you don't need local phone service from AT&T so who pays for the repairs if a customer ever needs work done? And who does it? Sonic? AT&T?

••••••••••
JesseHarris

join:2008-07-30
Sandy, UT

Veracity Networks

Sonic.net's approach is a lot like Veracity Networks here in Utah. They, er, "acquired" iProvo (not sure what word best describes how that all went down) and have been building their own fiber to Qwest DSLAMs to co-locate. Right now, they're pushing ADSL2+ in American Fork and probably making incumbent providers break out into a cold sweat. They have no debt load, a sterling reputation, and no qualms about building and maintaining their own network. Success stories like theirs are few and far between.
--
--
Jesse Harris
Chairman, UTOPIA Citizens Advisory Network
»www.freeutopia.org/

MEohME

@wideopenwest.com

Re: Veracity Networks

iProvo was actually sold and then sold again. That's how that all happened. The actual company went belly up that bought it the first time. but as far as "building their fiber to Qwest's DSLAMs to co-lo" is different. That sounds like they're reselling DSL. If they were doing the same as Sonic.net Instead Veracity would install their own DSLAMs in the COs and have them connected direct to the Internet. They wouldn't build out Fiber as I'm sure Qwest does NOT allow Co-Los at the RTs.

Veloslave
Geek For God
Premium
join:2003-07-11
Martinez, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast
·PHONE POWER

The best going if you can get it

I was with Sonic for years and due to a move I am stuck with Comcast...

No need to tell you how well the two compare

Sonic.net FTW
--
Mom was right.... I NEED fiber!
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC

service

The resale services using AT&T copper lines in NC receive excellent service response. Most of the time it is better then for their own customers. Can not speak how Sonic performs but most resales blame AT&T who ends up doing all the isolating and many times it is not the AT&T copper part of the circuit that is at fault. Then the reseller eats the cost for the bill AT&T charges the reseller for no trouble found.

This is the part that is a little unfair in that the reseller can have a smaller repair crew then if they had to dispatch to the customer and CO or other test point and prove that it is the AT&T section that is failing but it works the other way and the reseller hopes the problem is in the AT&T section so the don't get a bill which kills their profit. Then the customer finds out how good or bad the reseller performs when the problem is in the reseller network.

Again I don't know how Sonic works but it is easy to pick the easy low hanging fruit in big cities then the telco/cable that must provide service in small towns and even outside city limits. That last mile is very expensive when you must provide universal service.

More power to any company that builds a network and provides excellent service even if they lease part of that network.

XBL2009
------

join:2001-01-03
Chicago, IL

Is this a regional deal?

Is this a regional deal? California only?