Reinventing Sonic

  • Matt Merner, right, a technician with Sonic.net checks the new generation high speed DSL connection for their first customer for the service, Bob Amen, left, of Santa Rosa.

Sonic.net, the homegrown Internet service provider, is unveiling a slew of new products from TV service to faster broadband as it attempts to become a full-fledged telecommunications company.

It recently began launching new services to both its business and residential customers after spending months jumping through regulatory hurdles and investing about $2 million in new equipment and training.

Over the coming year, the Santa Rosa company will continue to roll out new products such as traditional phone service, satellite TV and possibly even cell phone service as it takes advantage of its recently awarded governmental status as a telecom.

Nothing less than the future of the 14-year-old company is at stake, said Dane Jasper, who built Sonic.net from a startup on the Santa Rosa Junior College campus into a business with more than 70 employees and $17 million in annual revenues.

"This is the future for us," said Jasper, president and CEO of Sonic.net.

A key element of its strategy is the relentless pursuit of greater bandwidth and faster Internet speeds.

Sonic is building next-generation DSL networks throughout the Bay Area, and it plans to offer download speeds up to 18 Mbps to residential customers -- and even faster speeds for businesses.

Its prices for the faster DSL services range from $45 to $80 for residential customers, and a bit more for businesses. Customers who bundle together phone and TV service get a discount.

The company hopes to capitalize on the growing demand for bundled services and blazing-fast Internet.

"The market potential is huge," Jasper said.

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