Uncap Me

may 10, 2011

Thank you AT&T for forcing me out of my comfort zone and discovering Sonic.net!  A few weeks ago, AT&T announced that they would cap DSL and Uverse data plans (at 150GB and 250GB respectively).  Sure, Comcast has been capping their customers too, but that's expected from them -- they are evil. The worse part of AT&T's cap was the reason they gave for doing caps: Less than 2% of their users are bandwidth hogs. That defies logic. Anyways, I was looking around for replacements and while I thought this area was a duopoly (AT&T/Comcast), I found that it's really not.

I discovered Sonic.net Fusion, which is different than Sonic.net DSL. Sonic.net DSL is just resold AT&T DSL, though without the caps (at least for now). Sonic.net Fusion runs on AT&T copper to the CO (Central Office), but from there it is all Sonic.net. The ADSL2+ service from Fusion is offered in one tier: As fast as your line supports (up to 20Mbps on a single line and 40Mbps on a bonded two-line setup). There are no $5-tiers like AT&T. Fusion also includes POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) and a bunch of free amenities (caller ID, three-way calling, voicemail, unlimited domestic long-distance, etc). All this for a flat $40/mo -- compared to our AT&T voice+DSL plan which had barebones POTS ($30/mo) and 6.0Mbps DSL ($40/mo).

I signed up two weekends ago on Sunday (5/1/11). The following Tuesday (5/3/11), I received an email letting me know that my switchover would happen in a week. Today (5/10/11), the switchover happened and it was really uneventful (which is a good thing). Phone and DSL went dead at 11am and came back in about 20 minutes.  When things came back, I had an 7Mbps down/1Mbps up DSL connection. And phone service started with all the extra services. 

I had my DSL modem set to bridge mode (from AT&T days), so all I had to do was reset that to resync. Then on my wireless router (WNDR3700), I switched the from PPPoE over to DHCP and rebooted. After everything fired up, I had a live internet connection.

I sent Sonic.net support an email asking them to look at my line and see if they could tweak more speed out of it. They replied about two hours later (quick!) letting me know they lowered the signal-noise margin to 6db on my line and the new speed on the line was 8Mbps (yay!).

Everything has been working fine since the switchover and I haven't had any problems. Lets see how things go in the long run, but from all that I have read on DSL Reports forums, Sonic.net Fusion is the way to go. And thanks to AT&T for chasing away a customer of six years who would have probably stayed with AT&T if they hadn't started capping data usage!