Sonic expands gigabit fiber service to Berkeley, parts of Oakland and more

With the size of cable TV and internet service provider Comcast looming over the Bay Area, it may seem like consumers and businesses in the region might have no other choice when it comes to getting internet access at home or the office.

But Santa Rosa-based Sonic, an independent ISP, would beg to differ. The company, founded in 1994, counts approximately 100,000 internet customers statewide that use its gigabit fiber and DSL networks for getting online. The company offers service across San Francisco, parts of the East Bay, Los Angeles and a total of 125 cities around California. And on Monday, Sonic launched what the company said is the biggest expansion of its gigabit fiber service in its history, by bringing its offerings to Berkeley, Albany, and parts of Oakland, El Cerrito and Kensington.

Customers will be able to get Sonic’s high-speed gigabit fiber service starting at $40 a month. Sonic said gigabit fiber provides internet access at speeds of 1000 megabits per second (Mbps), or 50 times faster than the current average download speed in the United States.

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“We’re an alternative to cable and traditional telecom options,” said Dane Jasper, Sonic’s chief executive and co-founder. “Across the U.S., there is a lot of frustration with cable, in particular. But, here in the Bay Area people need to know they have a choice beyond the cable monopoly.”

Jasper said the independent nature of his company also offers something different at a time when questions of deregulation and the Federal Communications Commission’s plans to put an end to net neutrality policies are on the minds of many consumers. The FCC is in the process of dismantling the net neutrality guidelines, put in place during the Obama administration, that required ISPs to treat all internet traffic equally, and not give preference to specific types of traffic carried across their networks.

“There’s a lot of interest in policy right now,” Jasper said. “Earlier this year, it was privacy. Now, there’s a lot of attention on net neutrality. If you think cable is your only choice, we’re committed to the values of net neutrality.”

Photo: A Sonic worker installs the company’s gigabit fiber in Berkeley. (Courtesy Sonic)

 

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  • David Reinertson

    Will have to get permission to connect to long distance.

  • Mike Meagher

    How about Richmond!

  • eL Duonger

    Sadly they still only offer a measly 20mb where we are in SF (pac heights) and it’s $50 / month! I know I (and many in this hood) would happily dump Comcast for gigabit service.

    • Dervis Bell

      Yeah. I am paying 200/mo. for Comcast 200 mb service (half the time it is only 100mb though). They throttle your service if you use over 50 gigs of data over a month (i.e., don’t even THINK of streaming or cutting the cord!) You have to pay another 50.00 to get unlimited data. Oh and if you try using your own modem instead of a rental, you had better get ready to have your service shut off with an “unauthorized device” notification. You will then have the nice privilege to take your modem with proof of purchase (better be from Best Buy or other retailer BTW) to a local comcast office to prove your modem is not hot. Then you get to go through having your modem re-provisioned and reset all your setup settings. Comcast will do this about every 6 mos. by the way because, as they say in mob land: “Tings happen… sorry for the inconvenience…” Wink wink nod nod.

 
 
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