Sonic.Net Treats Customers Well, Earns Praise
Carrier gets oodles of link love for new network build, customer service
Sure, incumbent lobbyists and dysfunctional regulators may have crushed the majority of major, independent, residential broadband ISPs in the United States, but California-based ISP Sonic.net not only survived the indie ISP-pocalypse, but they're busily building their own network. As we've covered for years
, Sonic's offering ADSL2+ (bonded, when possible) capable of providing speeds up to 40 Mbps downstream. Sonic's suddenly getting a lot of love this week, with Ars Technica
profiling the company and their "bandwidth-hog friendly" policies:
The new network, called Fusion, allows Sonic.net to offer ADSL2+ service along with its own telephone service (this isn't VoIP, but actual POTS). The company currently sells one offering to residential users through Fusion: for $50 a month, they get uncapped ADSL that runs as fast as their line can handle (up to 20Mbps) along with free nationwide phone service. Users who want more bandwidth can order up a second telephone line and "bond" the two for speeds of up to 40Mbps by simply paying another $50.
Analyst Dave Burstein also doled out some Sonic love
in his widely-read broadband industry newsletter:
Dane Jasper's Sonic.net is (finally) bringing the same "low price, maximum speed, high volume" model to California. Sonic.net is offering 100's of thousands of Californians "up to 20 megabits" + unlimited national phone service for $56, about the same price as Verizon is charging for the 10-15 megabit DSL service alone. Verizon charges about $75 for similar and AT&T probably $84, about 50% more. Unless you live far from the exchange, Sonic.net offers a better deal than any large U.S. carrier.
The man behind the plan, CEO Dane Jasper, is a regular here in our forums
often helping customers personally. As we've seen with other, customer-service-focused ISPs (like Canada's TekSavvy) that kind of personal touch is welcome in an industry dominated by giants, and is helping fuel Sonic's fairly steller reviews by our users
. Meanwhile, Yankee Group analyst Benoit Felten this week conducted an very interesting review with Dane
on their new network, and life as a modern independent U.S. ISP in a sector dominated by giants.
Jasper (who you can follow on Twitter
) is a breath of fresh air as a broadband industry CEO that understands the repercussions of putting quarterly investor satisfaction ahead of your network, your company, and the satisfaction of your customers. The result is an ISP that speaks to the fact that staying small -- and focusing on what's important -- isn't necessarily a bad thing. The problem is that the drive to get increasingly bigger (and go public) is an all-pervasive presence, and as an ISP grows -- customer service is usually the first thing lost in translation.
Wow It's a shame this business model isn't imitated elsewhere. Imagine that, fair pricing and decent speeds.
Re: Wow wow, good for them! but I do wonder how sustainable it is building out a POT network... should be better building out fiber?
Santa Rosa, CA
Deployed COs as of 2010-09-02
said by Dest:Delivering next gen ADSL2+ (and in future VDSL2) over copper is a nice base hit. It allows for incremental improvement today, delivered to a large footprint at a low cost.
wow, good for them! but I do wonder how sustainable it is building out a POT network... should be better building out fiber?
The idea going forward would be to later deploy fiber in the areas with highest customer density.
| |The LimitPremium
Re: Wow Please come to our town. Your offering is amazing compared to Windstream, who is the only game in town.
Do or do not, there is no try! - Yoda
Re: Wow I attended a wedding in Healdsburg, CA last weekend and the hotel I stayed at were using this ISP and it was one of the best Wi-Fi setups I used in a long time. I was pretty impressed with it. Just too bad others around the country couldn't think this way.
Santa Rosa, CA
said by Dan2112:Dan,
Please help those of us provisioned on RTs. I switched from Sonic.net to Comcast because I could not get "Fusion" at my location as I was provisioned off ATTs Remote Terminal.
I loved Sonic.net but could not justify the price considering I could get three times the speed from Comcast at the same price.
For now we are concentrating on deploying COs. Note the holes in the map - we're filling in those gaps now, plus expanding the edges. That's the near term realistic goal.
As for RTs, I think it'll make more sense to build FTTx instead and bypass deployment of electronics in the cabinet.
Re: Wow If you guys hit the Salinas Valley with some CO's i'm on it!
Keep doing what you're doing, you and your SonicNet team will continue to grow and prosper. So many companies(in all of US business) are just cutting expenses, without thinking of the long term. (I still wonder why so many small telcos/providers are going FTTx, when the big boys don't want to. Waiting for Uncle Sam, or Moore's Law to pay off?)
You have the admiration of many for what you're doing. Just keep hitting them where they ain't. No telling where you will be in a few years.
Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Wow Thanks Bob for the encouragement!
| |newviewEx .. Ex .. ExactlyPremium
Please consider the East Coast We would LOVE to see some competition here in the MidAtlantic Region.
| |bobrkYou kids get offa my lawnPremium
San Jose, CA
Indeed... ...this is why they get perfect scores on the reviews here...
Bravo Absolutely awesome company.
| |linicxCaveat EmptorPremiumReviews:
The ISP Giants The ISP giants bypass rural America, or give very poor service and slow bandwidth while charging monster prices, and patting themselves on the back while they gobble up more urban areas. The only telco in the US that is worth a hoot is still Ma Bell. It's 50 miles from where I live, but that's all right mama,. my local homespun company gives me 7Mbps down which is more than the nearest phone company can provide at any price. Their idea a great deal is dial-up speeds and free national and national calling for $120+ tax. I am supposed to be wildly delerious when I left another system in rural America that was charging me $30 for a solid !.5 down.
The whole thing is PR smoke and mirrors. If you live in rural America you get what you get unless you get lucky and find one that bucks the system lo\ike Sonic.net and wins. It is what it is, and what I have now is far better than what I had with Cox, AT&T, Century Telephone the other Wanna-Be that Cox sold out to; it was so bad I forget the name.
The bottom line is this. The fastest processor in the world in the fastest game machine built will only cruise as fast as your Internet connection. If you live in rural America that ain't very fast. If you can play on-line games be grateful because it is not going to get much better or much faster despite all the promised the Giant Telcos make. They lie.
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside
Sonic is the only ISP that actually followed with the Telco Act and started building. To bad other ISPs didn't do this. Even if they have to do the UNE-X loop- its better than doing the DSLX method and rely on the full ILEC from start to finish.
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