13 search results for "free features"

Fusion Free Borderless Calling Expansion (sorry, Antarctica!)

Late last year, we launched  “Borderless Calling” for Fusion, with eight total hours of free calls to Canada. We chose Canada because it was our most popular international destination, and this has saved our Fusion members a ton of money on their monthly bills over the last year.

We are now expanding free calling beyond North America, to the top call destination on every continent!

For each continent*, we tallied our Fusion members’ top international destination, and added the most-called country on each continent* to our free Borderless calling list. (Go ahead, click the asterisk. I know you want to. I’ll wait.)

Fusion Borderless Calling now includes eight total hours of free calls to land line telephones in six countries plus four territories. (Calls to mobile phones are still toll calls, except in the US, Canada and the US territories. See international rates for full details.)

Fusion Borderless Calling now includes:

  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • South Africa

Fusion already includes free unlimited calling to all 50 US states, plus US territories:

  • Puerto Rico
  • Guam
  • US Virgin Islands
  • American Samoa
   

As Fusion membership grows, we will continue to add more features, including more free Borderless calling destinations. So please, tell a friend about Fusion unlimited broadband and phone service, now with free Borderless Calling to ten international destinations, all for only $39.95/mo.

Thank you for being a Sonic.net Fusion customer!

The fine print:

For full international call pricing and to look up a rate, see the international rate table.

All calling features for Fusion service are limited to interactive use by our members. You may not re-sell or share the service. For details, see: use provisions.

* Apologies to the roughly 3,687 scientists and staff at the various Antarctic research stations, and even deeper apologies to the 964 who typically stay through the long and isolated winter. I imagine you would really appreciate a call from one of our friendly Fusion members. But, your telephone service is all satellite delivery, so I am going to pretend that you aren’t really a continent. From the perspective of free Fusion Borderless calls to land lines, you’re not. Sorry!

Get a Free Static IP from Sonic.net

Our Fusion Broadband+Phone service is undergoing continual ongoing improvement, with new features and greater reach as the number of customers rapidly grows.

Our last few new features have been on the voice side, so it’s time for something new on the broadband side of the product.

When we launched Fusion we wanted to keep things simple — and a bit expensive — so we only offered static IPs in one configuration: a big block of eight bridged static IPs, for $20/mo for residential customers and $40/mo for business locations*.

This allowed us to manage our IP blocks in a simplistic way, with little allocation complexity and no fragmentation. It also kept the product easy to understand and sell; if you wanted static IPs, the eight-IP block was the only option to explain.

And, from those who really needed static IPs along with the speed that Fusion delivers, we could collect a bit more money. This was back when Fusion was broadband-only, (phone service was not yet included) and pricing was up to $55 for residential, so a $20 static IP wasn’t quite as disproportionate as it is with the contemporary $39.95 product today.

Times have changed, Fusion has gotten less expensive and loaded with more features. So, our next feature is more varied IP options, including an absolutely free 1-IP static configuration for our residential Fusion customers. (Don’t know what a static IP is and why this is so exciting? See the tech briefing, “What is a static IP?” for background.)

So, the new options for static IPs for Fusion are now as follows.

Residential static IP options:

  • 1 IP: FREE!
  • 4 IP: $10/mo
  • 8 IP: $20/mo

Business static IP options*:

  • 1 IP: $10/mo
  • 4 IP: $20/mo
  • 8 IP: $40/mo

And, IPs can now be set up in real-time, using our self-service Member Tools portal. You’ll find the Fusion IP configuration tool there, under Connectivity -> Fusion. There’s no need to call, and it’s quick and easy. Your new IPs and settings are provided in the tool, and the network provisioning changes are made just a few moments later, allowing you to coordinate this activity for a time most convenient for you.

Once your new IP block is set up, you will need to configure your modem, router or PC to utilize it. If this process is unfamiliar to you, reading and asking questions in the Access Forum is a good start. Please note that our free features are generally unsupported by phone, so please, look before you leap!

I hope you find this expanded set of IP options useful. Please share this article and include a comment about what you will use your new static IP address for!

* Wondering why business IP pricing is higher than residential? Honestly, it’s what the market will bear. There is a dearth of well-priced broadband offerings that incorporate static IP for business customers. Product designed revenues are not always a direct reflection of actual costs, and some things contribute to billing at a higher level than others. That’s just the way things go.

Photo: ThinkGeek IP address doormat

New Sonic.net Fusion voice features

As our Fusion customer quantity grows, we are working diligently to improve the service. So, I am very excited to tell you about our next set of free Fusion Phone features:

Forwarding illustrationCall Forwarding:

This has been one of our most requested features. With our new free call forwarding feature, you can now forward your Fusion number anywhere you’d like — to your mobile, or a landline elsewhere. It’s handy when you travel too: forward your home or office Fusion number to your mobile.

You might also use forwarding if mobile service is poor at your home: give callers your Fusion number as your primary number to reach you, then turn on forwarding to your mobile when you depart your home. When you get home, turn off forwarding and take calls on your reliable Fusion landline. Callers  only need to know one number to reliability reach you, at home or away.

To turn on call forwarding, just dial *72 (star seven two) and follow the prompts. To turn it off, dial *73. You can also use our new voice portal (news on that below) to manage forwarding from any connected web browser.

Caller ID displayCaller ID with Names:
Fusion Phone service has always included caller ID, a feature which traditional phone companies charge as much as ten dollars for. But, while we have always included the basic Caller ID with number, we didn’t provide the caller’s name because there is a per-call cost involved in accessing the unified carrier database that includes this information.

Now, because we have thousands of Fusion subscribers, it has become economical for us to include the name feature too. So, if the data is available, you will now see caller names along with their telephone number, for example your caller ID display would show 415-555-1212  JOHN SMITH. Newer telephones will even read the name out loud while you dash to the phone. Note that you will still see some callers appear as “UNKNOWN” or “WIRELESS CALLER”, but if a name is available in the database, we will provide it.

Hunting:

Also known as “rollover”, hunting with Fusion two-line service allows a small business or busy household to have their primary number ring on the second line if the first one is busy. If both lines are busy, you can send the call to voicemail.

When combined with FaxLine, a small business or home office can use one or two numbers, with or without hunting, plus a separate dedicated FaxLine fax number. Two-line Fusion also delivers broadband at twice the speed, so that’s another bonus! If you’d like to upgrade to two-line service, just contact us to get started.

Voice portal screenshotVoice portal:

To manage this growing array of features, we have launched a new Fusion voice management web portal. You can manage features like voicemail, call waiting and forwarding, plus view call details. Here is a complete list of the Fusion voice features and settings which you can manage online today:

  • Voicemail settings
  • Call waiting configuration
  • Caller ID blocking
  • International call blocking
  • Call forwarding

To access the Fusion voice portal, visit the voice portal in the Member Tools. Here is a direct link to the voice section: http://j.mp/Voice-Portal

Support & Forum:

Support is super-duper busy setting up new customers, so if you have questions about using these features or about Fusion voice service in general, it would be very helpful if you would visit our voice forum at: http://j.mp/Voice-Forum

Please tell a friend!

As you have probably noticed, your Fusion service gets better as we grow. Subscriber growth is the key, so I am asking for your assistance: please tell a friend or neighbor about Fusion today. Just ask, “Have you heard about Fusion from Sonic.net?” If they haven’t, tell them about us, and encourage them to visit the Sonic.net site to learn more and to switch. If you do, I promise that we will keep giving you more and more groundbreaking capabilities!

The Fusion vision is to build the ideal service: fast unlimited broadband with strong privacy policies, plus unlimited phone service and lots of features included free. Thank you for your support as we continue to work to make our vision a reality.

Sincerely,

Dane Jasper

CEO & Co-Founder

Sonic.net/Sonic Telecom

P.S.: We also really appreciate your shout-outs on Facebook and Twitter! Click the “Like” button and share on Facebook: http://j.mp/Sonic-Facebook
Are you on Twitter? Tweet to your followers to let them know what you think about Sonic.net, then “Follow” us too: http://j.mp/Sonic-Twitter

Sonic.net offers free FaxLine service

FaxLine delivers PDF to email

Announcing the availability of FaxLine, our new fax to email and fax sending feature.

Now, at no additional cost, Internet access customers can get their own FaxLine number from Sonic.net. Received faxes are sent via email as standard PDF files—easy to print, store, and forward. If receiving faxes is useful to you, just visit the FaxLine Member Tool to set up your new fax number.

You can send faxes now too. To send a fax, just create a PDF file and use our Send a FAX Member Tool to upload and send. (You don’t need to set up a FaxLine recieving number if you are only sending faxes.) Most software will save or export as PDF, but if your source material is paper, you will need a scanner; I recommend the Fujitsu ScanSnap. When you send a fax, you will receive transmission confirmation via email, plus there’s a log of transmitted faxes in the tool for your records.

Questions about FaxLine? It’s one of our new beta “Labs” features, so please see the Labs section of the Sonic.net Forums for questions, suggestions and discussion.

Our team is always working to improve our services, and I hope you find FaxLine to be a useful new feature!

Fax is pretty retro, so we’d love to hear what you might use it for. Visit our Facebook page and tell us!

Sincerely,

Dane Jasper
CEO & Co-Founder

P.S.: For offices needing a Fax number for each staff member, you can add multiple FaxLines for a monthly fee. See the FaxLine tool for details.

Free hosting

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.

https://members.sonic.net/websites/personal_web_hosting/

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.

Fusion Product Changes

Today we have made changes to our Fusion service in order to further simplify the product, to improve service delivery, and to lower costs.

Previously Fusion was a bit confusing – it’s one product, but was offered four different ways: residential single-line, residential dual-line, business single-line and business dual-line. This meant four different price points, and business users basically paid more for less: a $10 to $20 higher monthly fee, plus a penny a minute for all their calls. (More on this below!)

We have also found that residential dual-line service was rarely purchased, with only one out of twenty customers selecting this product. When it was, there were more delivery challenges due to the household wiring, and more cancellations due to delivered speed concerns.

We often found that these residential customers didn’t actually want the two phone lines, and instead were hoping for more speed, generally seeking 20-40Mbps. While bonded Fusion is double the speed of a single line, it was sometimes being purchased by folks located at longer much longer distances who were desperate for more performance. For a speed-hungry consumer on a very long loop, they frankly might be better served by a cable broadband service at those locations.

On the other hand, even at longer lengths and slower speeds, the single-line service is a compelling value: unlimited and uncapped broadband at the maximum speed that we can deliver plus home phone with unlimited usage for $39.95. It’s a very nice deal. Two lines for seventy dollars plus the applicable voice taxes just isn’t a very good fit, and it shows in the signup and churn numbers.

We have also been studying resource usage by our business customers, and we’ve found that from the perspective of voice usage, they actually use less than the average home user! This was a surprise to us, and it created an opportunity: simply eliminate the $0.01 charge that our business customers have been paying for calling. So, that’s in effect from today – Fusion phone service is now very simple: free calling, regardless of location type.

Based upon all of these findings, today we have reduced the Fusion service to two very simple products:

  • For Residential customers:
    • Unlimited broadband and home phone for $39.95
  • For Business customers:
    • Two phone lines plus double speed broadband for $89.95

Of course both of these products include all of our free features like FaxLine electronic fax, a free domain name with Personal Web Hosting, 15 email accounts, Free International calling, Voicemail and voice features like Caller ID.

For currently users of the two products we have eliminated (residential two-line service, and business one-line service) we will continue to provide the service to these customers at the current price points, so nothing changes for these established customers. (One bonus: for the business customers, they will no longer be billed for their voice usage!) For a new home customer who really wants the two line service, we will deliver the faster business service to a home location.

We are also changing the way that we provide equipment. We found that when customers re-use a modem from another provider, they often spend a lot of time get it set up, and it is always in question if there is trouble with the circuit. Is the problem the modem, or the line? If it’s the modem, who is responsible, and how much time does the customer have to spend with us to get that worked out? With an older ADSL1 modem that lacks ADSL2+ support, the customer’s speed will be limited to 8Mbps, potentially much slower than it would be with a modern unit. Also, does that old modem have a full set of the necessary filters, for all the regular telephone devices in the home?

So, equipment is now provided free for every new customer. The basic kit for residential customers includes everything that’s required, including new phone line filters, a splitter, Ethernet and phone cables and the modem itself. This should make getting set up with Fusion easier than ever, and if there is trouble – our staff know the product well, if there is trouble, we can easily swap or replace it if the modem is at fault. Of course, even things that are free there is a catch: sales tax, and shipping and handling. However, we know that the provided equipment and setup kit will make setup and support much easier for our new customers.

For those who want a device with Wi-Fi, an advanced kit is also available. It includes a modem with four-port Ethernet router and Wi-Fi access point, now offered at a discounted price of $19.95.

For our business customers, we now provide a ZyXel dual-line bonding ADSL2+ modem which has four Ethernet ports and built-in Wi-Fi. It’s a great small office solution, delivering dual-line Fusion speed and convenient Wi-Fi access.

Finally, in an effort to keep monthly recurring costs as low as possible, we are now charging a line activation fee of $35 for the residential service, or $85 for the two-line business service. This keeps most of the one-time costs of circuit ordering and provisioning in a one-time payment, so we don’t have to amortize these one-time expenses into the monthly rate that customers pay forever.

Over the last couple years, we have made many changes to improve our Fusion service, and I’m excited to be continuing the product evolution. Our team is working hard to make the product easier, faster and more useful for you, at the best possible price point.

 

Go, Monopoly! Go! Go!

Screenshot 2015-11-17 17.02.48

I’m flying across the US today, enjoying in-flight Internet access along the way. Internet access in the sky changes the equation for travellers, particularly for business users, allowing them to stay in touch and productive, despite zipping along at 550mph.

While I’m feeling a bit spoiled by this handy access (and a bit disloyal to GoGo as I post this), the in-flight monopoly reminds me of some of America’s issues with terrestrial Internet access. Up here in the sky, I’ve got one choice, just as most Americans have just one choice for fast Internet access in their homes.

And just as consumers on the ground do by switching providers frequently, or calling for a better price every year, I’ve got to game the billing system in order to get a fair price. In my case, by connecting via VPN in order to buy a flight pass using the Sonic IP, yielding a much lower price than is offered onboard. (Is charging me more once I’m on the plane fair? Maybe @GoGo will respond with a comment below. Tip: If you forget to pre-purchase before your flight and are feeling gouged, buy 30 minutes of access, then use the Sonic VPN to connect to gogoair.com and buy more time or a segment pass at a lower cost than is offered onboard.)

At Sonic, our goal is to deliver more and more value for our members, at a fair and simple price. While we do from time to time run specials (like a month free, or a free Roku, or a monthly discount, or $5 off with a television bundle, etc) for new members, we don’t do the routine “call the cable company every year to threaten to cancel, fight, renew/re-negotiate” with our customers. No matter how you come in, you end up in the same place in the long run. That’s fair.

Why? Because we’ve got a mission: fixing the state of Internet access in America.

We want to partner with our members in that mission, and part of that is the financial support which you provide every month by being a member. Every dollar supports building a better product for you, our Sonic members.

Fixing the Internet will take a huge movement, which is why we work so hard to recruit new members to our mission. That’s is why we love seeing our members referring their friends, family, and workplace to Sonic. Thank you very much for spreading the word about our mission.

Together we can build a new Internet access model for America, beyond just one choice, beyond cable. One without artificial tiers and usage caps, with $40 gigabit fiber, while protecting the privacy of our lawful customers. It’s going to take time, and a lot of money. But it is possible, and I look forward to doing it, with the support of our members.

FCC validates Sonic robocall blocking efforts

Last year Sonic partnered with the award-winning Nomorobo robocall blocking solution for our Fusion landline phone service. Last Friday, the FCC validated that choice, affirming in a 3 to 2 vote a carrier’s right to offer robocall blocking to its customers.

The FCC’s Chairman, Tom Wheeler, wroteFor the first time, we clarify that there is no legal reason carriers shouldn’t offer their customers popular robocall-blocking solutions, so that consumers can use market-based approaches to stop unwanted calls.

Sonic was the first US telecommunications carrier to integrate and deploy Nomorobo, and we are pleased that the FCC and FTC have supported our consumer-friendly policies on annoying and often fraudulent robocalling. Until this decision last week, it was possible that our decision to offer this free feature would be challenged, so we appreciate the FCC’s decision, and we thank the commissioners for their action on this issue.

Sonic’s Nomorobo blocking feature has blocked over five million spam calls so far, saving huge amounts of time and frustration for our members. The Nomorobo feature is free for Sonic members, who can enable or disable it via our Member Tools.

To learn more about robocalls, see Federal Trade Commission’s Robocalls page, which includes a thorough infographic on how robocalls work. Sonic’s integrated Nomorobo solution was a winner of the FTC’s 2013 Robocall Challenge.

To learn more about Sonic’s Nomorobo feature, see the brief video here:

 

Net neutrality is dead. Long live net neutrality!

Congestion Ahead, Expect Delays

Netflix has begun paying a fee to deliver their site’s content to Comcast and Verizon Internet customers who want to access it. This is in addition to the fee which Comcast and Verizon customers themselves pay to access “The Internet”, which of course includes Netflix. The customers pay for Internet access, but the two carriers caused or allowed congestion on their networks in order to limit Netflix’s ability to deliver to their mutual customers.

The fix? A payment from Netflix to both Comcast and Verizon to assure that their traffic makes it to the end-user. Call it “protection”, if you’d like.

The FCC appears to be saying that this is okay, despite this sort of thing being the basis for network neutrality, the principal that all traffic should be treated equally and without discrimination. Net neutrality is dead.

Here at Sonic, we appreciate the Internet. The Internet is why you subscribe, and we are happy to be your choice to deliver a fast, friendly and reliable conduit to access the Internet sites and services that you want. While we do have a lovely home page and we provide a nice array of extras, we understand that the reason you subscribe is to access the Internet. (Thanks, Internet, for being awesome!)

So, we don’t disadvantage any source or type of traffic. Sonic Fusion service has no speed tiers and no usage caps. We deliver the fastest and most consistent performance possible at your location, regardless of the what you are downloading from the Internet.

We are also happy to host content delivery equipment as close to our customers as possible. By partnering with large content sources, we save money on Internet transit while delivering the best performance to our members.

At Sonic, we believe that this is not only the right thing to do, it is also a competitive advantage. (Please tell a friend!)

Long live net neutrality!

Sonic.net Fusion adds unsolicited call blocking

I am very pleased to announce our latest free Fusion Phone feature:

Unsolicited Telemarketing Call Blocking!

This has been one of our most frequently requested features. With our new unsolicited telemarketing call blocking feature, calls from known unsolicited telemarketing callers are silently rejected, saving our members time and frustration. This feature will not eliminate all of the annoying unsolicited calls, but it should reduce the number of unsolicited telemarketing calls that our members receive.
For members who prefer not to participate in this blocking, this feature can be configured in our Member Tools, in the Voice settings. Here are the details on that:
Voice options:
You can manage your Fusion phone line features such as call blocking, voicemail, call waiting and forwarding, plus view usage details. Here is a list of the Fusion voice features and settings which you can manage online:
  • Voicemail settings
  • Call waiting configuration
  • Caller ID blocking
  • Anonymous call rejection (new!)
  • Unsolicited telemarketing call filtering (new!)
  • International toll call blocking
  • Call forwarding

To access Fusion voice settings, visit the Voice section of the Member Tools. Once there, select the telephone number of the Fusion line you would like to configure. If you decide to make any changes, be sure to click “Update” to save the new configuration.

Customer Forum:
If you have questions about using these features or about Fusion telephone service in general, please click to visit our Voice Forum.
Please tell a friend!
As you have probably noticed, your Fusion service gets better as we grow. Membership growth is the key, so I am asking for your assistance: please tell a friend or neighbor about Fusion today.
The Fusion vision is to build the ideal service: fast unlimited broadband with strong privacy policies, plus unlimited phone service and lots of features included free. Thank you for your support as we continue to work to make our vision a reality.

Sincerely,

Dane Jasper
CEO & Co-Founder
Sonic.net/Sonic Telecom

P.S.: We also really appreciate your shout-outs, likes and follows on Facebook andTwitter!