I’m always thinking about how we can add more value to our Internet products. It’s probably obvious, but the question I often ask myself is, “What can Sonic.net do that our huge cable and telco competitors are not able or willing to do?” From this concept come all of the primary differentiators that Sonic.net offers.
For example, good tech support. The entire technology industry has spent the last decade working out ways to eliminate the “support cost center”. The cost reduction efforts include automated attendants, scripted “tier one” support reps, and in many cases outsourcing of support to offshore call centers. Our take on support has been to embrace it as an opportunity to HELP our customers, not just to reduce costs. This means that people answer the phone, and that there’s no scripted “tier one”. Just nice people who are helpful and smart.
Other areas we’ve chosen to differentiate are less obvious to many customers, and for some, less important. However, these set a theme – rather than the cheapest product at the lowest cost, our goal is to deliver something better.
- Plenty of email boxes, for family members or employees
- Large email storage quotas
- Low cost static IPs, for customers who host servers
- IPv6 tunnels, for customers using next generation numbering
- Usenet access, with high bandwidth limits
- IMAP access to email, allowing unified access from multiple PCs
- Wi-Fi hotspot hosting, with revenue sharing for DSL users
- Unix shell access
Most of our customers don’t make use of all of these features, but the point is to make delivery of a better product our primary goal.
This blog is one more example – we’re now offering free web hosting and easy to use publishing software to every access customer. If you’ve got dialup, DSL, satellite, wireless, etc – we will host a website for you at no charge. Not just a small page at www.sonic.net/something-or-other, but a real identity – your own domain name.
Having a domain name and your own website is something everyone should consider. It’s a great way to stay in touch with family, with clients, or to simply speak your mind. Building and publishing a site used to be a bit complex and expensive. You’d spend $10-$20 for the hosting every month, plus registration of the domain name itself at $10-$25 a year, and then you’d need to actually build the site. Graphics, HTML, FTP uploading, blah, blah. Difficult, and expensive.
We’re making it free, and easy.
This blog is an example of a free site – I’ve set it up with our “mini” hosting, rather than a domain name. Customers can do both – mini hosting offers a URL at Sonic.net, and you can also have a domain name and a second website.
My hope is that you’ll build a small site, today. A family site (your last name dot com, etc), or a site for your business, or your hobby. It’s fun, and a great way to become a contributor to the Internet itself. It’s one more way that Sonic.net delivers something valuable to you.