I hope that all of you are healthy and coping well with the uncertainty that comes with COVID-19. While we deal with these changes, one thing is certain: we’re determined to keep you connected.
And here’s how:
We are taking care of members.
For our members, we have three opportunities we are focused on:
First, is being available to support if you need assistance. Through our work from home mobilization efforts to our field repair team, we are standing by to assist. We know that your internet access performance and reliability are more important now than ever before, and we continue to work to assure that we meet your needs.
Second, accommodating the financial challenge that we expect many of our residential and small business customers will experience as a result of the COVID-19 situation. To that end, we are offering deferred billing for up to two months for customers who have a financial hardship. We are hopeful that this delay in billing will help those struggling during this time. If you would like to request a delay in billing, please write to email@example.com.
Third, we are taking these four safety precautions to ensure a speedy and healthy installation experience:
Our installers practice social distancing.
Our installers complete as much of the installation as possible outside your homes and guide members to completion inside your homes.
We provide self-install kits with everything our members need to get up and running.
Your installers wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.
By following these four safety precautions, we can help reduce the likelihood of spreading COVID-19 while delivering quality Sonic service. Sonic strives to make your internet safe, reliable, and accessible — especially during these sensitive times.
We are taking care of our staff.
We have shifted the majority of our office-based teams to work from home, including our customer service operations. This has gone smoothly but may lead to delays in some sections of the business as staff cope with the responsibilities we all juggle at home today (we’ve all seen the videos). Please excuse us if some requests take longer than usual or if there is a hold time to reach us by phone. Callback and text-message options are always available too, see sonic.com/support for those.
A large portion of Sonic staff work outside the office, on network construction, service installation, and repair. Since this is a critical service, these team members are still operational, while taking additional precautions to protect themselves and our members.
We are taking care of the network.
For many of us, shelter in place orders are in effect, and this can be seen pretty clearly in Sonic’s network utilization. Usage has gone up. A lot.
Over the last week, we have seen traffic on the Sonic network increase by 25%. This is a massive jump in a short period of time, but to this point, the capacity of the network is holding up very well, and members should not be experiencing any network-related slowdowns.
Increasing usage and capacity upgrades are a normal process for us. Our network engineering team is constantly engaged in monitoring usage trends and planning the deployment of upgrades. This rapid increase in usage has caused us to apply immediate upgrades that would have normally been deployed in six to twelve months. At this point, we do not expect any capacity challenges on the Sonic network.
That is not to say that you will not experience slowdowns on the internet as a whole. We have seen reports of some platforms struggling to scale. My own children’s school, for example, had challenges with some of their video content because the hosting service was unable to keep up with demand. But for most applications and services, we are not seeing significant reports of issues. If you’re wondering if a service is having trouble, the folks at downdetector.com track many popular services, or you can also check downforeveryoneorjustme.com to see if any site is offline.
We are taking care of our community.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, Sonic is offering three months of free internet access and unlimited nationwide home telephone service to households with K-12 students, college students, senior citizens 60 or older, educators, Healthcare providers, delivery persons, food and safety workers, and all non-essential workers.
Based on location, service is available through our fiber-optic network with symmetric speeds of up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps/1000Mbps download and upload) or our copper network, with speeds up to 50Mbps. There are no data caps, so it is ideal for keeping everyone connected during the coronavirus crisis. We want you to know that you’re essential to us.
If you know anyone who might benefit from this program, please pass along the information which can be found at sonic.com/cov19.
Thank you for being a member of the Sonic community. We wish the best for you and your family. Stay safe and healthy.
CEO & Co-Founder