My name is Dane Jasper (/u/danejasper), and I co-founded Sonic in 1994, at a time when many people hadn't yet heard the terms "internet", "email address" or "World Wide Web." Today, Sonic is the largest independent ISP in Northern California. As a 24-year industry veteran, I've seen a lot of change, but I firmly believe that every home and business in America deserves fast, affordable internet backed with the friendliest customer care around.

That's why I'm fighting a recent forbearance petition filed in May with the FCC. Lead by a lobbying group representing AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, and Frontier, this petition could dramatically raise prices on consumers, hinder access to high-speed internet, and prevent Sonic - and other independent ISPs - from continuing fiber deployment.

I'll be sticking around to answer your questions about this petition's attack on broadband competition and what's at stake for you and everyone else who uses and loves the internet. Ask away!

Proof: https://twitter.com/dane/status/1043206512569507840

Comments: 66 • Responses: 16  • Date: 

LiverGrande18 karma

Do you believe it is acceptable that a majority of United States families have connections smaller than 50 up and 20 down, yet are paying hundreds of dollars a month, and thousands a year, while other countries offer hundreds up and hundreds down for a fraction of the price in other parts of the world? How do you think Americans, as a collective, should deal with these companies (which sometimes have a monopoly in their area) trying to take advantage of customers in this way?

Danejasper28 karma

The US broadband marketplace is an example of competitive failure. And the US Telecom petition (if granted by the FCC) would further advance the duopoly situation here in the US.

Put another way, the core regulations of the 1996 Telecommunications Act have created some competitive choices for consumers in some markets, including California (Sonic.com), Missouri (Socket.net), Kansas (Ideatek.com) and Oregon (Gorge.net). Competitive carriers in these markets are offering faster services and better prices than incumbents, but those competitive choices could be dismantled by incumbents if this petition is granted.

What the US needs is more competitive broadband options, not less. Consumers should tell the FCC about how they will be harmed by less competitive choices, you can easily file a letter here: https://savecompetition.com/

scoopdog512 karma

Will any non conglomerate ISP be able to fight against the deep pockets of the cable companies and others who strive to not even provide passable service without combining on at least a lobbying front to keep these other garbage companies from taking consumer choice away from a great company like sonic.net?? Former sonic customer (moved across the country) and am proud to see how Sonic has grown and innovated.

Danejasper6 karma

I think that the many competitive insurgents across the US do have a good opportunity to resist this deregulation effort by incumbents. Organized under Incompas, the trade group for competitive access, I am hopeful that consumers can make their voices heard on the issue. Learn more and speak out at their site at https://www.bridge2broadband.org/

Yabosan9 karma

You recently rolled out Gigabit Fiber in the mission everywhere except my street. Why are you forcing me to stick with Comcast? ;P

Danejasper12 karma

This is a great example: today we have built fiber to one third of homes in the City of San Francisco. And we're continuing that expansion, but many premises cannot be reached, due to overloaded utility poles (which must be replaced or reinforced, which takes years) or underground utilities (SF doesn't allow modern trenchless utility builds by new entrants like Sonic.) So while we work to resolve those barriers to deployment, we reach homes by delivering service over copper lines which are available to competitive carriers like Sonic as part of the 1996 Telecom Act. That "bridge" to building fiber broadband is critical, allowing us to accumulate customers, and to provide service today while fiber is being built.

Belgand6 karma

What can I, as a resident of SF, do to help accelerate this process so I can actually get fiber service? Beyond just "contact your supervisor".

Danejasper2 karma

Contact your supervisor to encourage public works to allow trenchless underground construction (micro/nano trenching and directional drilling), and contact the CPUC about the poor safety of wood utility poles in the City.

Belgand1 karma

So it's basically impossible? Got it.

Danejasper1 karma

You might be surprised by the influence that voters can have.

MinimumIndication9 karma

Is this forebearance petition a direct result of the FCC shelving net neutrality? Further, will Sonic fight these sorts of actions regularly going forward?

Danejasper14 karma

The forbearance petition is about shutting down what limited competition exists today for internet access in the US. This is not directly related to net neutrality (nor the related policy topic of privacy practices), except in as much as in a truely competitive market where consumers have more than one or two choices, carriers will compete to have good policies. Put another way, the issues of net neutrality and privacy are a side effect of an inadequately competitive marketplace for internet access.

playwithmymonkey1 karma

Why North oakland? Cause its the rich area?

Danejasper8 karma

No, we prioritize build-out based upon two factors: construction cost, and demand. The network is part of a large contiguous build that encompasses Berkeley and Albany, plus portions of Emeryville and Kensington. The current project is North of Hwy 24, which is a costly barrier from a construction perspective.

QuietInNature7 karma

Is there a slush flavor that stops people from reading the first few words of a title and assuming the rest?

Danejasper14 karma

Pickle.

MinimumIndication7 karma

What plans does Sonic have for expansion into Windsor, CA? Noticed a lot of construction lately.

Danejasper3 karma

This is a FAQ: We haven't yet announced Sonic fiber expansion to this city. But, please do check your address at http://sonic.com/availability for details on services available there today.

Continued access to regulated network elements under the 1996 Telecom Act is critical for Sonic's continuing fiber expansion, so please learn more about the issue and support us and other competitive carriers with your comments at https://savecompetition.com/

PersnlRspnsblity20775 karma

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Danejasper10 karma

Thanks, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the podcast. (For others, you can find that audio interview here: https://twitter.com/sonic/status/1040017136339509248) I do not anticipate that we will see any law put into place that would make internet access providers responsible for the actions of their subscribers. That'd be like making a computer manufacturer responsible for what people post online. Or the maker of the keyboard used to type the post. Just isn't practical, nor does it make sense. What I think you may be referring to though is the idea of making websites responsible for the content posted on their sites. This would upend the safe harbor that sites have under section 230 of the communications decency act. But again, I don't see this being practical: Social networks for example cannot review every post you make, doing so would be both impractical and oppressive.

Jimbozu2 karma

When are you going to be bringing gigabit fiber down to los angeles?

Danejasper2 karma

This is a FAQ: We haven't yet announced Sonic fiber expansion to this city. But, please do check your address at http://sonic.com/availability for details on services available there today.

Continued access to regulated network elements under the 1996 Telecom Act is critical for Sonic's continuing fiber expansion, so please learn more about the issue and support us and other competitive carriers with your comments at https://savecompetition.com/

[deleted]2 karma

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Danejasper5 karma

Because we treat internet traffic equally, legislation that requires neutral treatment won't have any impact on us. But for carriers that are engaging in prioritization or intentional congestion, neutrality legislation could force them to clean up their acts. (And, in that context, I suppose it could hurt Sonic, if our competitor's services got better as a result. ;)

playwithmymonkey2 karma

I been stuck with att + verizon cause sonic too slow to add service on my area. What plans @sonic has to add service in the Oakland area?

Danejasper5 karma

We are building gigabit fiber to the home in North Oakland today, you can check your address at http://sonic.com/availability

playwithmymonkey2 karma

Im referring to east Oakland by coliseum.

Danejasper2 karma

This is a FAQ: We haven't yet announced Sonic fiber expansion to Eastern Oakland. But, please do check your address at http://sonic.com/availability for details on services available there today.

Continued access to regulated network elements under the 1996 Telecom Act is critical for Sonic's continuing fiber expansion, so please learn more about the issue and support us and other competitive carriers with your comments at https://savecompetition.com/

mhammett1 karma

The telcos have been trying to get forbearance for a long time. What can we do to put a nail in that coffin?

Danejasper1 karma

You'd think that passing a law would do it, but apparently not. The 1996 Telecom Act was passed to allow for competitive telecommunications here, but for more than twenty years incumbents have been working to undermine the Act. This is the next chapter. You can resist by speaking out on the importance of competitive deployment, visit http://savecompetition.com/

Shadou_Fox1 karma

Are there any serious plans for the city of Sonoma at the moment for fiber internet?

Danejasper2 karma

This is a FAQ: We haven't yet announced Sonic fiber expansion to this city. But, please do check your address at http://sonic.com/availability for details on services available there today.

Continued access to regulated network elements under the 1996 Telecom Act is critical for Sonic's continuing fiber expansion, so please learn more about the issue and support us and other competitive carriers with your comments at https://savecompetition.com/