Table of Contents
Updated by Mitchell Paul-Soumis
What is a Data Service
A Data Service in Sonar is any service designed to deliver an Internet connection to a customer. By creating a Data service it becomes available for use with RADIUS Groups and Address Lists, and is used to calculate data on your FCC Form 477.
A Data service also shares creation parameters with recurring services, designed to be billed on a monthly basis on customer accounts.
Components of a Data Service
While creating a Data Service in Sonar, the creation can be divided into several categories:
Naming & Organization
This first section of creating a Data Service is selecting the service Name, restricting it to only certain companies on your instance if desired, and whether to associate the services with only certain Account Groups.
In most cases, the name should be distinctive, representing the service level and service type, if multiple are offered. A good example would be Gold Internet - Legacy, denoting both the service level, as well as the account group.
The Billing Details section of the Data Service contains the required information for the Application of the recurring charge - for most use cases of a data service, this application will be Debit.
The amount is variable, this is simply the amount of the recurring charge. Similarly, the Billing Frequency in months can be variable, up to the preference of your organization.
Finally we reach the General Ledger Code and the Taxes, which each have their own articles discussing the use of these fields in more detail.
The Service Details section of Data Services is the unique aspect that separates Data Services from normal Recurring Services. Currently, the Service Details only apply to the FCC Form 477 and the Broadband Field details.
The Download and Upload Speed in kilobits per second will eventually integrate directly with Address List/RADIUS Groups to limit speeds, but are currently only for reference purposes and reporting.
Meanwhile, the FCC Technology Code is also used for reporting, allowing you to select from the following list of Data delivery technologies:
Usage Based Billing Policies are covered and applied in its own article, but when applied to a service will allow you to limit this service to a certain amount of bandwidth in any given month.
Service metadata allows you to track service specific information on a per-account, per-service basis. For example, on a domain renewal service, you could track the domain name. On a Data Service, you might track Circuit IDs, or something from a reseller that you're given and don't manage.
Data Service Creation Example
In this Example Data Service, we're creating a new service titled Gold Internet - Legacy. This service will provide a Data service to customers that are part of the "Legacy Equipment" account group. Additionally, this created Data Service will only be available to the Westlake Wireless company on this instance.
Moving on to the Billing Details, we've set the Application to be a Debit, and this service will be charged to the customer on a monthly basis, at a rate of $50.99, which will have the Geographical Tax for Colorado State applied to it.
Rounding out the Data Service Creation, we reach the Service Details. In this example, we're creating a Terrestrial Fixed Wireless (also known as point-to-point or point-to-multi point wireless) with a download speed of 10 megabits per second, and an upload speed of 1 megabit per second, and this is what will be reported in the FCC Form 477 report.
Implementing Speed Restrictions
Sonar allows you to manage and regulate the speeds of your Data Services through several means, the most prominent of which is the use of an Address List or a RADIUS Group, both of which are used in nearly equal portions across Sonar. With Address Lists, you're able to dynamically assign IP Addresses to specific service levels based, and RADIUS Groups are nearly identical, substituting IP Addresses for RADIUS Authentication.
Implementing Usage Limits
Implementing Usage Based Billing, and by association Usage Based Billing policies on your services is as easy as selecting the billing policy you created on the Usage Based Billing Policy settings page. Once added under the Service, it will begin to take effect immediately, adding the restriction to any customers on the service.
Enforcing Usage Limits
Enforcing your configured Usage Based Billing Policy requires configuration of multiple components within Sonar.
- Some device or integration to measure data usage, which we've described briefly here | Data Usage Available Methods
- Some method of restricting access to your network once the allotted data usage has been consumed, which we cover in some detail with a Mikrotik in this article | MikroTik: Controlling Access
Once these components are configured in your instance, data usage will begin to be monitored on the user's account as well as viewable in their customer portal.
Tracking Data Usage
Data usage can be tracked and managed a few different ways:
- From the Account Management dashboard:
- From the account details sidebar in the account list:
The customer can also track their own data usage by logging in to the Customer Portal. If you've enabled the ability to purchase additional usage during the month, this can also be accomplished through the user interface in the Customer Portal.