Discussion:
Sonic Offering FTTN
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sms
2015-10-18 13:50:41 UTC
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I didn't know this until someone on Nextdoor mentioned it, but Sonic is
now offering FTTN over AT&T's infrastructure. It's on their web site.

Unfortunately, the cost is much higher than Comcast's cost for similar
speeds. $53/month for 20Mb/s, $76 for 50Mb/s (2 pairs), including modem
and ATA rental but not including taxes and fees. No option for buying
your own modem and ATA to avoid the rental fee.

It's still DSL, but DSL from the node, not from the CO.

The voice side is now VOIP, not a true analog landline.

Since it includes voice service, they probably justify the price based
on what AT&T or Comcast charges for VOIP service, around $30/month. But
the reality is that for those that still want a home phone line they can
buy an Obi device and have VOIP service for $1 per month via RingTo, or
an Ooma device for about $3/month.
Julian Macassey
2015-10-18 16:51:55 UTC
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Post by sms
I didn't know this until someone on Nextdoor mentioned it, but Sonic is
now offering FTTN over AT&T's infrastructure. It's on their web site.
Unfortunately, the cost is much higher than Comcast's cost for similar
speeds. $53/month for 20Mb/s, $76 for 50Mb/s (2 pairs), including modem
and ATA rental but not including taxes and fees. No option for buying
your own modem and ATA to avoid the rental fee.
First of all, compared to Scumcast, you are getting real
service and I assume no blocked ports. That is worth paying for.
--
The Internet is full of people who can’t read and want to talk
about sandwiches - Noam Chomsky, Oct 2013
Doug Herr
2015-10-18 18:42:16 UTC
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Post by Julian Macassey
Post by sms
I didn't know this until someone on Nextdoor mentioned it, but Sonic is
now offering FTTN over AT&T's infrastructure. It's on their web site.
Unfortunately, the cost is much higher than Comcast's cost for similar
speeds. $53/month for 20Mb/s, $76 for 50Mb/s (2 pairs), including modem
and ATA rental but not including taxes and fees. No option for buying
your own modem and ATA to avoid the rental fee.
First of all, compared to Scumcast, you are getting real
service and I assume no blocked ports. That is worth paying for.
I have this service and there *is* at least one blocked port. Since this
is an AT&T line on AT&T network it has outbound port 25 blocked.

Sonic does offer VPN, so if you want to tunnel over to Sonic IP space you
can resolve it that way. Mostly the FTTN people using the VPN are folk
who don't want AT&T spying on them.

Also note that Sonic does not offer this only based on your proximity to
a VRAD. You have to be too far enough from your CO so that Sonic can't
give you above a magic bandwidth level. Can't remember what that number
is at the moment.

But the main point is that I am 100% happy that I got this. Went from
about 3Mbit up to about 22Mbit. I think upload about doubled. Getting
close to 2Mbit now.
--
Doug Herr
Julian Macassey
2015-10-18 20:17:35 UTC
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Post by Doug Herr
Post by Julian Macassey
First of all, compared to Scumcast, you are getting real
service and I assume no blocked ports. That is worth paying for.
I have this service and there *is* at least one blocked port. Since this
is an AT&T line on AT&T network it has outbound port 25 blocked.
I have had DSL from Sonic via AT&T (Nee PacBell). Port 25 was open.

I do not consider companies that block ports to be ISPs but purveyors
of crud to the Eternal September crowd.
--
"Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join
the union of their choice." - Dwight D. Eisenhower
Keith Keller
2015-10-18 20:44:25 UTC
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Post by Doug Herr
I have this service and there *is* at least one blocked port. Since this
is an AT&T line on AT&T network it has outbound port 25 blocked.
Outbound, inbound, or both? Since I run my own SMTP server either would
be a big problem for me. (Yes, it's secure.)
Post by Doug Herr
Also note that Sonic does not offer this only based on your proximity to
a VRAD. You have to be too far enough from your CO so that Sonic can't
give you above a magic bandwidth level. Can't remember what that number
is at the moment.
Do you recall where you got this information from? E.g., talking with a
Sonic rep, seeing it online somewhere, something else?

--keith
--
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(try just my userid to email me)
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Doug Herr
2015-10-19 15:54:40 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
Post by Doug Herr
Also note that Sonic does not offer this only based on your proximity
to a VRAD. You have to be too far enough from your CO so that Sonic
can't give you above a magic bandwidth level. Can't remember what that
number is at the moment.
Do you recall where you got this information from? E.g., talking with a
Sonic rep, seeing it online somewhere, something else?
Mostly from the Sonic forums (open to all). I was at about my 5 year
mark with Sonic Fusion and line trouble got me reading the forums. I was
happy to learn that resold FTTN was coming soon as it was time for speeds
that could deliver full speed Roku/Netflix. Oh, right, you did not ask
about my life history...

Found a helpful quote from Dane:

"but we will not prequalify a prospective new member and offer anything
less than 12Mbps."

So if my house signed up today then they would see my ~11,000 feet from
CO gives a hoped for 5Mbps (I got as much as 4Mbps over 5 years). That
would not meet that 12Mbps so they would allow me to order FTTN. If they
saw that I could get 6Mbps then they might suggest X2 bonding to get that
12Mbps, so not really sure if the 12 is 12 via "X1" or not. Confusing?

I also kept up with the DSL Reports forums for Sonic, DSLExtreme and
Uverse to help understand the CLEC resale and the base uverse product
that is being resold.
--
Doug Herr
sms
2015-10-19 16:49:09 UTC
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Post by Doug Herr
Post by Keith Keller
Post by Doug Herr
Also note that Sonic does not offer this only based on your proximity
to a VRAD. You have to be too far enough from your CO so that Sonic
can't give you above a magic bandwidth level. Can't remember what that
number is at the moment.
Do you recall where you got this information from? E.g., talking with a
Sonic rep, seeing it online somewhere, something else?
Mostly from the Sonic forums (open to all). I was at about my 5 year
mark with Sonic Fusion and line trouble got me reading the forums. I was
happy to learn that resold FTTN was coming soon as it was time for speeds
that could deliver full speed Roku/Netflix. Oh, right, you did not ask
about my life history...
"but we will not prequalify a prospective new member and offer anything
less than 12Mbps.
When I dropped Sonic, because I was only getting 1-2 Mbps, I noticed
that when I put my address into their system I no longer could sign up
at my house because I was too far from the CO to get reasonable speed.

I had no idea that they had begun selling FTTN service until I read a
discussion on my local Nextdoor site two days ago asking about
alternatives to Comcast and someone mentioned that Sonic was reselling
AT&T fiber. That was not really true, since in my area AT&T "fiber" is
their FTTH gigabit fiber.

I would have remained with Sonic had they offered 20Mb/s FTTN earlier
this year, but after dropping satellite TV I wanted a service that would
work with my Roku boxes and 1-2Mb/s wasn't cutting it.

I understand why Sonic moved away from customer-owned premises
equipment, but they could at least offer to sell you the modems that
they lease.

Also, I have no need for VOIP service from Sonic unless it's free. I
have VOIP service from RingTo which is free, with my Obi 202. I have to
pay $12 per year to another service for E911 service though.

With so many people dropping landlines entirely, the value of home phone
service is very low, and is really set by the VOIP companies like Ooma,
and Magicjack.

I'd say that 90% of the calls I receive on my home phone are robo calls
plus other junk calls. I use it for outgoing calls because I don't have
unlimited calling on my cell phone plan.

Dane may want to rethink his pricing structure if he wants to compete
with Comcast for data services.
Julian Macassey
2015-10-20 01:02:08 UTC
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Post by sms
Dane may want to rethink his pricing structure if he wants to compete
with Comcast for data services.
If Scumcast wants to compete with Sonic, they should re-think their
quality of service and reliability.

Never forget, you get what you pay for.
--
The Internet is full of people who can’t read and want to talk
about sandwiches - Noam Chomsky, Oct 2013

- George Orwell
Doug Herr
2015-10-19 16:02:57 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
Post by Doug Herr
I have this service and there *is* at least one blocked port. Since
this is an AT&T line on AT&T network it has outbound port 25 blocked.
Outbound, inbound, or both? Since I run my own SMTP server either would
be a big problem for me. (Yes, it's secure.)
Oops, I should have answered that in my previous reply...

I was not running inbound mail service at the time so am not really sure
of that direction.

You *can* get a Uverse port 25 block turned off tho:

https://forums.att.com/t5/Setup-Self-Install-Internet/Uverse-Blocking-
SMTP-port-25/td-p/3928808

The problem there is that Sonic is the real customer so it is likely that
AT&T would not talk to me about this. I already suggested that a Sonic
FTTN customer should ask Sonic to get it unblocked but I don't think
anybody has taken that route yet and I don't remember a DSLReports post
about any DSLExtreme customers doing it either.
--
Doug Herr
Keith Keller
2015-10-19 18:11:07 UTC
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Post by Doug Herr
https://forums.att.com/t5/Setup-Self-Install-Internet/Uverse-Blocking-
SMTP-port-25/td-p/3928808
The problem there is that Sonic is the real customer so it is likely that
AT&T would not talk to me about this. I already suggested that a Sonic
FTTN customer should ask Sonic to get it unblocked but I don't think
anybody has taken that route yet and I don't remember a DSLReports post
about any DSLExtreme customers doing it either.
Great, thanks for the reply, Doug. If I investigate further with Sonic
I will try to get them to clarify the situation for static IP customers.

--keith
--
kkeller-***@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
(try just my userid to email me)
AOLSFAQ=http://www.therockgarden.ca/aolsfaq.txt
see X- headers for PGP signature information
Doug Herr
2015-10-19 18:56:33 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
Post by Doug Herr
https://forums.att.com/t5/Setup-Self-Install-Internet/Uverse-Blocking-
SMTP-port-25/td-p/3928808
The problem there is that Sonic is the real customer so it is likely
that AT&T would not talk to me about this. I already suggested that a
Sonic FTTN customer should ask Sonic to get it unblocked but I don't
think anybody has taken that route yet and I don't remember a
DSLReports post about any DSLExtreme customers doing it either.
Great, thanks for the reply, Doug. If I investigate further with Sonic
I will try to get them to clarify the situation for static IP customers.
You bring up a good point; static IP. I am pretty sure that Sonic FTTN
accounts don't have an option for static. I opted for for single static
with the old CO fed Fusion line but that was included without extra cost.

With my FTTN line I have had the same IP for the full 6 months of having
it. But I do host my own vanity domain and I am paying Sonic an extra
$1.95 per month for DNS hosting. That allows me to use their "lab"
option to update my DNS records via scripts. If my IP does change then
my forward DNS records will get updated via a monitor script. No
matching reverse records tho, so this solution is fine for my little web
site but is less then optimal for e-mail hosting.
--
Doug Herr
Keith Keller
2015-10-23 18:33:57 UTC
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Post by Doug Herr
You bring up a good point; static IP. I am pretty sure that Sonic FTTN
accounts don't have an option for static.
I asked Sonic sales, and they confirmed that there is no option for a
static IP on their FTTN service.

--keith
--
kkeller-***@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
(try just my userid to email me)
AOLSFAQ=http://www.therockgarden.ca/aolsfaq.txt
see X- headers for PGP signature information
sms
2015-10-19 12:55:24 UTC
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On 10/18/2015 11:42 AM, Doug Herr wrote:

<snip>
Post by Doug Herr
But the main point is that I am 100% happy that I got this. Went from
about 3Mbit up to about 22Mbit. I think upload about doubled. Getting
close to 2Mbit now.
I'd gladly pay $35 for the data only part of this if they allowed me to
use my own modem.
Doug Herr
2015-10-19 16:10:22 UTC
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Post by sms
<snip>
Post by Doug Herr
But the main point is that I am 100% happy that I got this. Went from
about 3Mbit up to about 22Mbit. I think upload about doubled. Getting
close to 2Mbit now.
I'd gladly pay $35 for the data only part of this if they allowed me to
use my own modem.
It is currently not an option with Sonic to unbundle the VOIP line that
comes with FTTN. Also not an option to buy the modem. DSLExtreme lets
you buy a modem but it still has to be the same modem you would rent.
Not sure what they do if you already have a uverse capable modem.

The main issue here is the certificate based authentication that uverse
forces.

I like to keep it simple so was just using the Pace 5031nv until a
firmware update broke WLAN to LAN multicast communication. I currently
use DMZ mode.
--
Doug Herr
Mike Stump
2015-10-23 18:00:58 UTC
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Post by Doug Herr
Post by Julian Macassey
Post by sms
I didn't know this until someone on Nextdoor mentioned it, but Sonic is
now offering FTTN over AT&T's infrastructure. It's on their web site.
Unfortunately, the cost is much higher than Comcast's cost for similar
speeds. $53/month for 20Mb/s, $76 for 50Mb/s (2 pairs), including modem
and ATA rental but not including taxes and fees. No option for buying
your own modem and ATA to avoid the rental fee.
First of all, compared to Scumcast, you are getting real
service and I assume no blocked ports. That is worth paying for.
I have this service and there *is* at least one blocked port. Since this
is an AT&T line on AT&T network it has outbound port 25 blocked.
Ouch. That sucks. My Comcast doesn't block port 25 outbound.
Inbound is blocked, but one can bitch at them and have the block
removed.
n***@sbcglobal.net
2015-10-18 19:16:36 UTC
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Post by sms
I didn't know this until someone on Nextdoor mentioned it, but Sonic is
now offering FTTN over AT&T's infrastructure. It's on their web site.
Unfortunately, the cost is much higher than Comcast's cost for similar
speeds. $53/month for 20Mb/s, $76 for 50Mb/s (2 pairs), including modem
and ATA rental but not including taxes and fees. No option for buying
your own modem and ATA to avoid the rental fee.
It's still DSL, but DSL from the node, not from the CO.
The voice side is now VOIP, not a true analog landline.
Since it includes voice service, they probably justify the price based
on what AT&T or Comcast charges for VOIP service, around $30/month. But
the reality is that for those that still want a home phone line they can
buy an Obi device and have VOIP service for $1 per month via RingTo, or
an Ooma device for about $3/month.
I'm still waiting for Wave (was Astound) to come down the street. They offer 110 mbps broadband at $40 a month first 12 months. I'm guessing they have a way of knowing which households in this neighborhood are still under contract with ATT or Comcast and figuring it might not yet be worth it. Their feeder line runs up from Pleasant Hill and is just a block away. :(
Kevin McMurtrie
2015-10-20 19:40:42 UTC
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Post by sms
I didn't know this until someone on Nextdoor mentioned it, but Sonic is
now offering FTTN over AT&T's infrastructure. It's on their web site.
Unfortunately, the cost is much higher than Comcast's cost for similar
speeds. $53/month for 20Mb/s, $76 for 50Mb/s (2 pairs), including modem
and ATA rental but not including taxes and fees. No option for buying
your own modem and ATA to avoid the rental fee.
It's still DSL, but DSL from the node, not from the CO.
The voice side is now VOIP, not a true analog landline.
Since it includes voice service, they probably justify the price based
on what AT&T or Comcast charges for VOIP service, around $30/month. But
the reality is that for those that still want a home phone line they can
buy an Obi device and have VOIP service for $1 per month via RingTo, or
an Ooma device for about $3/month.
Sonic long ago said they'd be fixing that with dedicated VPN but I see
no signs of them getting it working. It's still pure Uverse and all the
problems that come with using AT&T: Modem fees, VOIP, traffic snooping,
single dynamic IP address, blocked ports, and port mapping is broken on
the modem.

I just signed up for one year of Comcast Business. I've been trying to
avoid it for years but there are no other options in northern Sunnyvale.
No fixed microwave, no fixed LTE, no FTTN, no FTTH, and the AT&T wires
are rotting. Rumor is that AT&T will run FTTH through here soon but
that's useless if it looks anything like Uverse.
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