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.
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.
·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.
said by iansltx: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..
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.
said by tmc8080:Here Bell Canada offers 10Mbps up via VDSL2 so AT&T should have no problem either.
even U-verse dsl could offer more than 5mbit upload..
| |antdudeA Ninja AntPremium,VIPReviews:
·Time Warner Cable
Re: TWC's $79.99?
said by iansltx:Ah, Texas only. I thought $89.99 promotion prices were everywhere for TWC.
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.
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
·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).
said by bobjohnson: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.
All that they do there is compete on price and that is all the potential customers look at.