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Alameda Residents Yearn for Internet Access Options

Alameda Municipal Power Office

Alameda residents yearn for internet access options. (File Photo)

Since the sale, in 2008, of Alameda Municipal Power’s failed internet and cable television division, residents have had fewer options. But not for lack of trying.

In 2010, the City of Alameda, with support from residents, submitted a bid in Google’s Fiber for Communities Initiative, hoping to secure 1 Gb/s internet service; Kansas City ultimately won the project.

On the Alameda Nextdoor forum, the question of alternatives to Comcast and AT&T routinely comes up for discussion. Sonic, a service provider based in Santa Rosa, California often comes up for discussion.

The company leases access to AT&T’s copper wiring, under a model known as “loop unbundling,” to offer service without having to build out it’s own physical network.

Long recognized for its privacy and transparency policies, the company’s CEO was asked last year to respond to concerns over the company’s relationship with AT&T for fiber-to-the-node technology.

Nonetheless, Alameda residents want to go faster, and Sonic’s 1 Gb/s fiber internet service isn’t yet available in Alameda.

Katie McDonagh, marketing coordinator for Sonic told Action Alameda News, “Sonic offers gigabit fiber internet in the cities of Sebastopol, Brentwood, and San Francisco. The reasons we chose to deploy fiber in these cities vary; for example, in 1999 the city of Brentwood began requiring home developers to build underground conduit for each new home. Fifteen years later, Sonic partnered with the city to use the conduit to deploy fiber, thereby eliminating the construction time and cost required had the conduit not existed. There are a number of factors we must consider when choosing future Gigabit cities, including density of existing Sonic customers. While we don’t have fiber-to-the-home connectivity in our other service areas, our fiber-to-the-node and VDSL technologies are excellent bandwidth options for today’s internet needs and are still much cheaper than our competitors’.”

The company says that city-by-city subscription rates drive decisions about where to invest next for gigabit fiber.

This knowledge article from an authorized AT&T reseller explains the differences between contemporary service delivery models.

1 comment to Alameda Residents Yearn for Internet Access Options

  • karen zimmerman

    Sonic is the best. And cheap. I’ve had them since 2012 and not one single outage or additional charge.

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