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.