Tag: T1

Cotati, Sonoma Fusion/FlexLink availability

We have deployed equipment in two new central offices on our new technology platform. Both Fusion and FlexLink products are now available to customers served by the Cotati and Sonoma central offices.

Cotati and Sonoma were left out in the initial wave of deployment last year because both are awkwardly situated with relationship to many of the customers in the serving area. For example the Sonoma central office is actually in Agua Caliente, and this limits the availability of Fusion services for many Sonoma residents. (Agua Caliente residents on the other hand are very well situated.)

That said, for our business clients, broad FlexLink availability is important, so it’s nice to have wrapped these two locations up. Many wineries in the Sonoma area for example have previously had only expensive T1 or wireless options available, and can now take advantage of the speeds and low prices of FlexLink symmetric products.

These two offices complete our near term Sonoma County coverage, and we are now focusing construction efforts in Marin, Napa and the East Bay.

Wrapping up new network

Forestville under construction

New vehicle livery, at Forestville CO

We started construction in Forestville today. It’s the last of our initial nineteen offices slated for build-out during this initial phase. All of the other locations are nearly done, with just a few loose ends to be tied up over the next few weeks.

Forestville was last on the list, as it’s the smallest town we will be initially serving on the new network. Despite it’s small size, Sonic.net today serves a surprising amount of DSL there, and I’m personally hopeful that it does well. As it’s my home town, I’ve got a best of a vested interest. (No, to answer the obvious question, we didn’t build out an entire CO because the CEO lives nearby. I’m well served today with very fast wireless access.)

Here’s a photo taken late today as the light faded, the central office in the background. What do you think of our new livery?

CLEC Update

Nathan and his team are have been making very good progress on our CLEC deployment. As a certified public utility in California, and a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), Sonic.net and is working toward deployment of equipment to serve next generation broadband products.

These products include traditional services such as 1.5Mbps T1, plus advanced services like ADSL2+ and VDSL2. We’ve even got some exciting new products based upon E-SHDSL (we pronounce it “E-Schnitzel” here around the office) that allow delivery of over 5Mbps symmetric (down and upstream) per pair at reasonably short distances. This allows delivery of Internet at 10Mbps (Ethernet speed) on as few as two pairs for business locations. Up to eight pairs can be bonded to deliver T3 speed (45Mbps). ADSL2+ can in theory provide up to 24Mbps downstream on just one pair – compare to today’s ADSL, at only 8Mbps theoretical maximum.

The last six months have seen some important milestones, and it’s very exciting to see the tangible progress.

As a CLEC, colocation in the telco central office (the ugly building in the middle of every town) allows for interconnection between copper to you, and the equipment that serves these new access technologies on that copper. We received access to our first colocation CO in late December. After nearly two years of paperwork, it was great to finally walk into the physical outcome – the somewhat dated interior of a building that was constructed to withstand a nuclear blast not too far away.

Our colocation cage space is just what it sounds like – a cage. It’s a walled off space built from a sort of telco industrial fencing material. While we’re not allowed to take photographs in a central office, here’s a snapshot of a typical type of cage that’s representative:

Colocation Cage

I can’t overstate the importance of this CLEC initiative for Sonic.net. Our ability to deliver innovative high speed products is critical to our future, and I’m very happy to see it coming along.

The next few weeks will see DSLAM equipment build out into the colocation space. This space is empty, so this means installation of ironwork – racks to hold the equipment – plus DSLAMs and other electronic equipment.

Even installation of the racks is a bit complex – we had to have staff attend training on “how to drill a hole”, and there’s a even special sized hammer drill bit that was rather tough to obtain. The training is mandatory for us to do our own construction in the central office – Santa Rosa’s main CO’s concrete flooring is “likely to contain asbestos”. No fooling. So, drilling a hole really is a bit complex, involving shaving cream (you guessed it – to capture the concrete powder and “likely asbestos”), some napkins (to capture the shaving cream), and a number of zip-lock baggies. The baggies are then tagged with our training certification data, and disposed of as hazardous waste.

Once we get the racks in, the DSLAMs and other equipment will be placed. Finally, we begin testing on copper loops to various locations around Santa Rosa. I will make postings about our progress from time to time.