It has been more than three weeks since the fires started in the North Bay area, and while the fires are extinguished, the difficult process of recovery has only just begun. California’s largest wildfire has badly hurt our hometown, with Santa Rosa losing many lives, and thousands of homes. Residents throughout the effected North Bay need our help as the long recovery begins.
Before I get into those details, I want to cite the consistency, reliability and compassion of the Sonic team here. I have seen a group of people who have been challenged, who have risen to that challenge, supporting each other and our community throughout this disaster. I wrote an open letter to the team, which I encourage you to read, here.
As for Sonic’s network and services, we continued to provide both broadband and telephone services to our communities throughout this crisis, with no widespread outages. The engineering team here has built a solid network and a reliable service. Some news coverage on this can be found here: North Bay internet service provider quickly rebuilds
This disaster has reinforced for me a number a points about household safety and the importance of reliable utility services, and I’ve got a few suggestions and tips for you to consider, which I will include below.
But first, many in this community are now struggling financially, and could use support in this very difficult time. To have lost everything they owned along with their housing is a massive blow for the families in our community. To assist, a local recovery fund has been set up, and if you are able I would encourage you to donate to the fund. All money raised will go directly to those with real needs as a result of this disaster. You can donate now at: https://www.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief
Now, I have a suggestion for your household, no matter where you are located. This disaster highlighted the importance of wireline home telephone service. Many Sonic customers received robocalls which were their only alert to evacuate. Make sure you have the best chance of having reliable telephone service in a crisis by equipping yourself well in advance. It’s easy, and inexpensive, and it could save your life.
To start with, every home should have a wired telephone, because cordless phone systems require power. An inexpensive wired phone can be purchased for about $15, see Amazon here for suggestions. Consider placing it on your bedside table, and don’t be tempted to disable the ringer.
For those with Sonic’s FTTN or Fiber service, backup power is required for voice service during a power outage. Fusion FTTN customers can use a single battery backup unit to power three critical items: the Internet router, the telephone adaptor, and your cordless phone base station. All three of these will generally be located in the same spot, so this is an easy way to keep both your internet and voice telephone service working for hours during a power outage. For those with Sonic Fiber, a battery backup is also required for service during a power outage. If you did not have a battery backup installed during your fiber setup, I would recommend obtaining one.
For both of these applications, consider a small battery backup such as the Back-UPS Connect.
If you have any questions about voice functionality during a power outage, please reply and let us know by writing to to support for assistance.
Thank you for your support of our company and our community as we recover from this disaster.