The rumours have been flying for several weeks now, but it looks like SunRocket might finally be done. Om Malik has posted a portion of the contents of an internal email from SunRocket stating that the service will go down at close of business today. That's about 15 minutes from now.
It has customers justifiably upset. Over on the Broadband Reports there is a lengthy thread asking questions like: How can I port my number? Can I get a refund? Will the service just go dead at 5:00? What about my 911 service? What happens if I log into the portal and call forward my calls to my cell phone? Andy Abramson has asked Sherwood Associates, the receiver, about number porting and is expecting answers later today. Perhaps he should ask some of these other questions too.
For three years more than a few of us have been expecting a spectacular flameout like this. SunRocket, Vonage, and others are all just telcos with a slightly different cost basis. They have no silver bullets. They still have to pay to acquire customers, retain customers, and operate networks. It was inevitable that aggressive pricing coupled with competitive pressure from the cables and incumbents was going to take one of these guys out.
UPDATE: The SunRocket call center in Springfield MO was closed earlier today. All 200 people lost their jobs.
UPDATE: The NY Times has just filed a story confirming that SunRocket is dead.
UPDATE: With SunRocket's 200,000 customers up for grabs, other carriers are starting to make their moves. ViaTalk CEO Brendan Brader has released a statement that his company will "buy out" the remainder of SunRocket customers contracts. Voxilla has published an interview with VoicePulse CEO Ravi Sakaria who asserts that his company can provide an easy migration path because they use many of the same underlying carriers.