Sonic, an internet service provider based in Santa Rosa, has been steadily expanding in California due to its promise of fast speeds at affordable costs for consumers. The company also has worked to set itself apart from the competition through advocacy work on issues such as internet privacy and net neutrality.
Internet service offered by Sonic includes phone landline for $40 per month. Some of Sonic’s technology is still location-dependent as they need enough prospective users in any given area to expand. The company’s basic Fusion DSL service is available throughout all of Santa Clara and much of Silicon Valley. However, the Gigabit Fiber, which has download speeds 50 times higher than average, hasn’t yet made its way to the city.
However, Sonic’s latest features are available to residents and businesses in Santa Clara. In December Sonic partnered with eero, dubbed the creator of the first whole home WiFi mesh system. The partnership gives Sonic customers access to faster, more reliable WiFi with greater security.
“Traditional gateway solutions have limited range and bandwidth, resulting in slower speeds or buffering when covering longer distances or faced with wireless network interference,” said Dane Jasper, Co-Founder and CEO of Sonic. “That’s one of the reasons we’ve partnered with eero to equip our customers with the ability to boost their WiFi connection and ensure every part of their home has consistent access to high-speed internet. As WiFi internet access has become a necessity in the home, we’re constantly thinking about how we can provide our customers the fastest, most reliable internet on every connected device, and this is the latest example of how we’re doing exactly that.”
The Sonic with eero system has three main components. First, the eero device blankets the customer’s entire home for consistent service in all rooms. According to Stephen Bradley, Director of Consumer Sales and Marketing for Sonic, this feature is especially important in the Bay Area as the region is prone to WiFi “dead zones” in part because of the presence of high density development. The dead zones can also result from larger homes and furniture that block signals. The eero system is also equipped with automatic security improvements with regular updates. Finally, eero’s TrueMesh technology keeps the network running smoothly by rerouting signals if an obstruction is identified.
“We built eero so that people never had to worry about their WiFi again, and for technology to fade into the background of the home. We want people to stay connected without having to think about their WiFi or worry about digital home security,” said Nate Hardison, Co-Founder and Head of Product, eero. “Sonic understands that as consumers increasingly depend on WiFi in the home to work, stream content and play games. It’s important to have a system that provides the reliability everyone needs.”
Bradley explained that the partnership with eero was designed to make sure that Sonic internet service is always performing at its peak, something the company is balancing with its plans for major expansion into new markets. Customers can opt into the eero system for an additional $12 per month.
“We’re going to continue to expand in the Bay Area and beyond. We’re currently in 125 California communities — high speed internet with no limits,” Bradley stated. “We are just committed to delivering faster and more reliable service to customers. We want our customers to be happy.”
He also said that the expansion plans are continuous and that new locations can be expected soon. In terms of Gigabit Fiber coming to Santa Clara, he said that the number of people that sign up for the Fusion service determines whether the company can launch Gigabit Fiber for any given market.
Another promising aspect of Sonic is its community program. In an attempt to bring fiber service to more buildings, the company partners with landlords and property owners. So far Sonic is a member of the San Francisco Apartment Association and the East Bay Rental and Housing Association. Through these partnerships the Sonic team can educate property owners on how to get service for themselves and their tenants. Property owners are provided with site surveys and installation plans. Sonic also offers landlords a “win/win” referral program in areas with fiber access.