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Grande Communications Juices Tiers, Lowers Prices
New Pricing For 8, 30 and 65 Mbps Tiers
by iansltx 06:02PM Monday Aug 20 2012
Grande Communications (see user reviews) put out a press release two weeks ago about how they have made upgrades to their cable systems to offer faster internet speeds and better TV (including multi-room TiVo service as their DVR system). Along with the announcement, the company bumped speeds up or prices down on a few of their Internet-only tiers, in addition to launching a bevy of double and triple-play packages ranging from $80 (cable including DVR and HD plus 3Mbps internet) to $190 (all-in cable service with two additional TiVo receivers, unlimited phone service and 110 Mbps internet) per month.

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As far as 'net access goes, the following changes were made:

Express - 8/1 Mbps down/up (was 512 kbps up) for $35.99 (though this change may have been made awhile back)
Power - 30/3 Mbps down/up (was 24 Mbps down) for $45.99 ($19.99 for the first 6 months)
Unleashed - 65/5 Mbps down/up for $69.99 (was $89.99 for 65/5 or $69.99 for 40/4)

Grande's Starter (3M down, 512K up for $27.99) and Peak (110/5 for $110) tiers weren't touched in this update, the latter a testament to Time Warner Cable's lack of pressure on Grande's top-end product (TWC offers 50/5 Mbps service in the areas where it competes with Grande). Grande charges $5.00 per month for modem rental, while Time Warner Cable (its primary competitor) charges $2.50.

With these changes, Grande actually beats Time Warner Cable's promotional pricing ($79.99 for twelve months) with its regular pricing on 50+ Mbps service. Likewise, Grande's 30/3 service off-promo is priced comparably to TWC's 20/2 on-promo. Rates shift even more in Grande's favor once the $25 per month promotional discount wears off Time Warner Cable customers' accounts a year after they start.

The catch with Grande's lower rates (and higher speeds) is that the cable overbuilder has not yet overbuilt some parts of the areas (such as San Antonio and Austin) that they serve, so some would-be customers are out of luck. The company does say, however, that they have been expanding their reach in some areas, though places like Austin will take a bit more time.

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brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

Great Prices

Verzion should follow these price plans for broadband. I don't need Phone, DVR and TV just for my internet line.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: Great Prices

this company is much only in select neighborhoods and much in HOAs where they can be the only provider. They're NOT that big at all. Thus no shareholders that want their $$ back- which is a valid request and requirement
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Great Prices

Actually, they're owned by a private equity group, which has investors too. They just happened to be more concentrated in their ownership. Kind of like Suddenlink was before they got bought by their own management or some such thing.

Also, 150,000 subscribers isn't tiny. As for HOAs etc., there are actually plenty of areas Grande competes with TWC (or Suddenlink if you're in Midland/Odessa, if I remember correctly). Also, it's not like TWC doesn't have similar arrangements, from an actual or de facto perspective. Case in point: my ~350-unit apartment community can get AT&T and TWC, but my guess is that 80+ percent of its population are using Time Warner. AT&T does have a VRAD (at least I think it's a VRAD) right near the entrance to the community, but somehow they still can't get more than 3 Mbps to me (at the back of the community, maybe 1/3 of a mile away, if that).

Of course, if you're admitting that Verizon's standalone FiOS rates suck on the low end compared to Grande's, I guess I'm agreeing with you...you can get 65/5 from Grande for the price of 15/5 on Verizon.
Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Re: Great Prices

That private equity group is ABRY Capital Partners who also owns RCN, and my cable company, Atlantic Broadband (for now).

Those are similar to the speeds Atlantic Broadband launched in South Florida.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: Great Prices

and if prices between those companies become in line with each other and speeds- a merger of the brands could come near.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Great Prices

The brands are regional though. Atlantic Broadband doesn't make sense if you're in Texas. Grande Communications doesn't make sense if you're on the east coast.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH
150k tiny when you compare it to other companies; especially other over builders.

And my comment on HOAs was that companies like this are more likely to be able to grab them and have a sole contract than TWC.

Also investment groups are more likely to beef up the ROI and then off load those companies to some one else. Get all that you can signed up- and then sell them after you make your $$$ back.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
TWC has more HD channels.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

upload?

meh, what's with the upload? 110 mbits down, 5 up? really? 5?
Jeez, can ya SPARE IT?!? most cable companies offer 5 up for a ratio of 15 down... 3:1 this is more like 22:1
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: upload?

My guess is that this limitation is technical more than anything else. A 3.2MHz wide return path channel only has 10-15 Mbps of capacity, depending on modulation. You don't want to push more than 5 Mbps of that to a single user. That's why neither TWC nor Grande scale beyond 5 Mbps on the upstream side right now, though both probably have upstream bonding enabled in a few select markets.

Contrast this to Cablevision, where they've got a 6.4MHz wide upload channel or two (and 15 Mbps uploads on their highest package). Or Comcast, where 2-4 upstreams, one or more of them with 6.4MHz of bandwidth, can be used to push up to 75 Mbp sup (though for the time being most plans will sit in the 5-20 Mbps range).

Trust me, I like upload speed just as much as the next guy. But you're dealing with a physical plant that was built with the express purpose of delivering a lot of data in one direction, with little thought to the other.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

Re: upload?

said by iansltx:

My guess is that this limitation is technical more than anything else. A 3.2MHz wide return path channel only has 10-15 Mbps of capacity, depending on modulation. You don't want to push more than 5 Mbps of that to a single user. That's why neither TWC nor Grande scale beyond 5 Mbps on the upstream side right now, though both probably have upstream bonding enabled in a few select markets.

Contrast this to Cablevision, where they've got a 6.4MHz wide upload channel or two (and 15 Mbps uploads on their highest package). Or Comcast, where 2-4 upstreams, one or more of them with 6.4MHz of bandwidth, can be used to push up to 75 Mbp sup (though for the time being most plans will sit in the 5-20 Mbps range).

Trust me, I like upload speed just as much as the next guy. But you're dealing with a physical plant that was built with the express purpose of delivering a lot of data in one direction, with little thought to the other.

Much of the return path was freed up with a couple of things.. one of them being that when many cable systems went "DIGITAL" that cleared alot of frequency noise in the return path for getting the 15mbit upload speeds. So, unless they are using unshielded rg59 or worse cable in the outside plant which is not properly conditioned, they are being cheap about upgrades (inside and outside plant).. even U-verse dsl could offer more than 5mbit upload..
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON

Re: upload?

said by tmc8080:

even U-verse dsl could offer more than 5mbit upload..

Here Bell Canada offers 10Mbps up via VDSL2 so AT&T should have no problem either.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: upload?

...and CenturyLink offers 20Mbps in certain places. However upload speeds are the first thing to go when you get more than a couple thousand feet from the DSLAM.

Honestly, it's probably easier for TWC/Grande to roll out higher upload speeds to the majority of their footprint than it is for DSL providers to do the same. But pockets of VDSL do make TWC et al look bad at 5 Mbps up. On the other hand, AT&T U-Verse won't sell more than 3 Mbps up.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

Re: upload?

This is because AT&T deployed U-Verse on the cheap.. to properly deploy the network, it would have cost much more than the 100 million or so that AT&T put into U-Verse before pivoting to wireless. Before AT&T pivoted, they were talking DSL channel bonding to offer 100/25 mbit tiers. Now it's just hot air.. AT&T will probably do nothing more to deploy U-Verse, FTTP or other wireline unless it is backhaul for wireless.
BTW, there was suppsoed to be a 25/8mbit tier offered to qualifying lines at 3k feet and under.. 3 mbit up was able to be offered in the 1990s.. since then it's somewhat better with vdsl2, 2+ However it was dropped because of the bad PR it would have with some haves and some have nots.. Bell Atlantic was plagued with this problem and necessary remedy costs, which forced their hand into FTTP. The problem being, they could have totally wired 2 states, not 13 with their budget. That would have obviously been Ny and NJ, and the rest would have been screwed...

antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4

TWC's $79.99?

Where? I only see $89.99!
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: TWC's $79.99?

It's a promo rate. Not sure if it's Texas-only but here in Austin the tiers are $79.99 for 50/5, $59.99 for 30/5, $39.99 for 20/2, $29.99 for 10/1 and $19.99 for 3/1 on promo.

antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: TWC's $79.99?

said by iansltx:

It's a promo rate. Not sure if it's Texas-only but here in Austin the tiers are $79.99 for 50/5, $59.99 for 30/5, $39.99 for 20/2, $29.99 for 10/1 and $19.99 for 3/1 on promo.

Ah, Texas only. I thought $89.99 promotion prices were everywhere for TWC.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

1 recommendation

Re: TWC's $79.99?

it is for Mid-Ohio and NEO/WPA both areas have it. I would assume Dayton and Cinci have it as well

Mojo 77

@sunwave.com.br

Juices?

Juices? Like what, Pomegranate? 1 Gbps is steroidal. A top upstream speed of 5 Mbps is more like roadkill.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Juices?

30 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up is better than 24/3. Not saying that the speeds are phenomenal...they aren't...but the pricing on the service is reasonable.

Mojo 77

@sunwave.com.br

Re: Juices?

The word "juices" suggests I should be very excited by some sort of extreme event. These are probably the worst prices you'd have if the country was actually competitive, and that upstream speed is shit, whatever the excuse leveled.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Juices?

Are you volunteering to start another ISP in a market that already has three wireline providers (TWC, Grande, AT&T)?

If not, then you've got to take these changes for what they are: upgrades. Heck, 30 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up isn't bad for many users (myself not included, my immediate and extended family, as well as many friends, included), and a $50-ish price point including modem rental isn't bad either (I'd get Google Fiber if it came to town, but that's $70, not $50).

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US
There are at least 10 different ways to get internet in Austin. Any of the techs to deliver internet are there. From my experience Grande and TWC are in a tie as far as who is the better company from the user's standpoint. All that they do there is compete on price and that is all the potential customers look at. Att, TWC and Grande are all pretty bad in the area as far as reliability and service quality... Everyone goes for price in the area... Even with the overbuilds and all the other stuff going on in Austin the companies' services are scattered all over the city and customers pick companies based on the lowest price and the ability of the company to actually locate the address. It's kind of a mess and not a very good example.
--

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Juices?

Ten options for Internet?

Okay, let's count...

1. TWC
2. Grande
3. Clearwire
4. AT&T

That's it if you're going to services that have a reasonable/no cap. If you want to keep going there's:

5. VZW HomeFusion
6. ViaSat exede
7. HughesNet
8. T-Mobile
9. AT&T
10. Sprint

But those last six tend not to get included in comparisons because they're heavily capped/throttled/otherwise undesirable. Clearwire doesn't serve some areas, and neither does Grande, so there are still places where you have only two providers who will give you 'net access with a 200+ GB cap (or none at all) for less than $100 per month.

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US

Re: Juices?

said by bobjohnson:

All that they do there is compete on price and that is all the potential customers look at.

There are still alot more options than in most areas. I was simply stating what you just posted in different wording... As in they have alot of competition but it all sucks and the only thing better from one to the other is price... Even with more options the companies do not try to be better than the other one.
--

tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS
Multiple ISPs in Teaxas was the previous administration's parting exit to office.. Verizon had very little presence in Texas before telecom deregulation. However, this deregulation primarily meant the LARGE existing carriers were permitted to expand their geographies.. not necessarily have new players enter the market.. and for that, much of the country suffered & is now exploited as a result. Services which cost $30 - $65 + would cost $10 - $15 (for basic phone and/or internet entry level tiers).
This is based on having at least two FTTP carriers and one or two cable carriers offering service concurrently in the same geography. Something you don't see in a majority of the country.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Juices?

Wait...there are places (other than Dallas suburbs) where you have two companies offering FTTP over disparate plants simultaneously?

motorola870

join:2008-12-07
Arlington, TX
kudos:4

Grande just launched their 110Mbps service Dallas area

Recently the 110Mbps tier launched in the Dallas area where grande services which is a very small area and it seems they upgraded the system from 750MHz to 1GHz as they now have QAM carriers up to 130 something (800MHz range).
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Grande just launched their 110Mbps service Dallas area

Interesting news; glad to hear they're doing something in Dallas (I hear their DSL up there isn't very good). Though I wonder whether they're all the way up to 1GHz there, or whether they stopped at 860MHz (probably 1GHz if they're doing plant upgrades though).

LightS
Premium
join:2005-12-17
Greenville, TX

Spurring competition;

When I lived in Waco, Grande launched their new plans (roughly a year ago IIRC).

About 1-2 months later, TWC's DOCSIS 3 was deployed & I was cruising along at 30/5 for $59.99/mo

I've used both - and honestly, Grande does a great job, at least in the Waco area..