For a long time I’ve been a staunch supporter and happy customer of Sonic.net, the scrappy Bay Area internet service provider that has recently started kicking ass, laying fiber, and embarrassing bigger ISPs.
As of this past Sunday, only half of that is true. After a few happy years of Sonic.net DSL, I had to leave Sonic.net. I think they’re taking the break-up okay.
A couple years ago I moved to sunny Berkeley, California. The rent in San Francisco was just too damn high, and I discovered that almost everything I loved about the Haight district was to be found in Berkeley. The “internet situation” in Berkeley leaves much to be desired though, unlike Sebastapol or certain areas of San Francisco, my favorite ISP isn’t really paying attention to Berkeley.
It’s not just my favorite ISP either, neither AT&T nor Comcast seems to give a damn about my cozy little earthquake death trap.
What’s a guy to do?
I suffered for a couple years with sub-6Mbps speeds, but with my most recent move, my distance from the nearest CO would have put me in the low-4Mbps range which is simply unbearable.
Sure, things like an IPSec VPN service, “unsupported” IPv6 tunneling, stellar customer support, an engaging and receptive CEO, plans for building a next-generation fiber-to-the-home network, and many others, they’re great and all. That still doesn’t make up for the fact that my wife can’t watch streaming bootlegs of “Toddler’s and Tiaras” while I work on serious business.
It’s not me, it’s you.
Interestingly enough Sonic.net CEO Dane Jasper gave me the idea to look into a wireless broadband provider with his post: “I hate wireless.” After some digging, I discovered Unwired Ltd, and Berkeley-based company offering wireless broadband, if you’re lucky enough to have line-of-sight.
Turns out, I’m lucky enough!
When I found out Unwired had (great) line of sight to the top of my new house in Berkeley, I asked for “the most.” I didn’t care so much about the cost, I cared about getting the most damn speed I could possible achieve with the microwave link. “Most” ends up costing about $130/month, about $40 more than my last Sonic.net bill was, with 14Mbps down/8Mbps up (burstable, I know the caveat here).
I will continue to cheer Sonic.net on, with their plans to lay fiber in select parts of the bay area. If they ever decide to drop fiber in Berkeley, which would be very surprising, then I will gladly sign up. Until then, I will be trying out this newfangled wireless broadband.
You broke my heart Sonic.