Oct 19 2009
It’s not often you win a contest you didn’t even know was going on, but that’s exactly what happened to me today! I’ve been using a local ISP, Sonic.net for almost a decade and been almost uniformly happy with them the whole time. They were started by a couple of students from the Santa Rosa Junior College and have grown to be one of, if not the, largest independently owned ISP’s in the United States. This October marks their 15th anniversary and they’re celebrating by running a contest on Twitter where they’re giving away free Internet service for a year and I was one of the winners! Who knew retweeting something Leo Laporte sent out could be so rewarding!
I won’t lie and say my experience with Sonic has always been perfect. There was a period of about a year where DSL was not available at my house yet (thanks to AT&T) but a variety of radio based Internet access was. I used it with varying results. On sunny days before my neighbor’s tree grew to big it was great. On foggy days the wireless was okay but prone to some occasional dropped packets. And when it rained, it almost wasn’t worth it to turn on the computer. Eventually my neighbors tree grew to the point where the wireless link wasn’t viable anymore and AT&T finally got DSL into my area, which is funny since I’m almost equidistant between the local AT&T office and Sonic.net’s world headquarters. But through it all the folks at Sonic did everything they could to help me, including sending technicians to check the antenna on more than a few occasions. I don’t want that wireless connection back, but knowing the company cared enough to work with me through those problems has kept me with them since.
I like working with a local ISP. I like knowing I can make the two mile drive to visit their offices if I need to. I like knowing that their CEO as well as some of their support staff are on Twitter. But most of all, I like the fact that they’ve done everything they can to make my experience a positive one. I’d be staying with Sonic for the foreseeable future in any case, but winning a free year of Internet access makes it even better.