Santa Rosa-based Sonic is expanding its high-speed, fiber-optic internet service to East Bay homes and businesses, the internet provider announced Monday.

The company, which previously placed fiber-optic cable in Sebastopol, Brentwood and parts of San Francisco, now is taking orders in such communities as Berkeley and Albany.

“This is our next big push,” said Sonic co-founder and CEO Dane Jasper.

The company characterized the expansion as its largest since launching its fiber-optic business six years ago.

East Bay residents can sign up to request the service, which starts at $40 a month. Jasper said some parts of Albany will be able to receive service in about a month, while other areas will take longer. The goal is to complete construction of the system there within one year.

Asked why Sonic chose the East Bay for the next round of work, Jasper explained, “It’s a market where traditionally we have always had a lot of members.”

The East Bay ranks third for customers behind San Francisco and Sonoma County.

Sonic bills itself as the largest independent internet service provider in Northern California. The company with 430 employees provides service to 125 cities in California, including the North Coast, Southern California and the greater Sacramento area.

Sonic also is one of the few independents building fiber-optic systems in the state, Jasper said. The advantage of such service includes gigabit speed of 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps), which the company says is 50 times faster than the average download speed in the U.S.

In regard to such speeds, Jasper said the most-asked question from Sonic’s regular customers is: “When do I get it at my house?”

The company doesn’t share its timetable for future expansions, Jasper said, but “the pace of construction is increasing.”

You can reach Staff Writer Robert Digitale at 707-521-5285 or robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @rdigit.