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Grande Communications Ups Speeds, Drops Prices
by iansltx 10:23AM Tuesday Feb 04 2014
Cable overbuilder Grande Communications recently announced that it would be revising its internet tier speeds and pricing (for both internet-only and bundled service) for residential users across its footprint, which includes parts of Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Waco, Midland/Odessa, San Marcos and Corpus Christi, Texas. The company, which already bested primary competitor Time Warner Cable's current offerings, now offers these four (down from six) tiers:

15M / 1.5M - $34.99
50M / 5M - $44.99
75M / 7.5M - $54.99
110M / 11M - $64.99

The company also offers, for $60, a double play bundle of 50/5 internet and basic TV, including equipment rental for both a cable modem and an HD DVR, indicating that the above prices throw in a modem at no extra charge.

By contrast, Time Warner Cable's current standard pricing is around double Grande's for 'net-only service when modem rental is factored in, and at the moment TWC doesn't offer tiers that compete with Grande's top-end, though that would change based on upgrades due to either an acquisition or the company's new "Maxx" service (more on that in another post).

Probably not coincidentally, Grande's new tiers fit between Google Fiber's likely speeds and prices for Austin; the company's slowest service is now faster than GFiber's free tier, and its fastest service, while slower than Google's gigabit, is also slightly less expensive, with no contract requirement. When compared to AT&T, Grande is either faster for a similar or lower price (when compared to U-Verse over copper) or a little cheaper for a bit less speed (when compared to GigaPower, which has a different, more limited, footprint).

The revised pricing and speeds (which include a tier with faster upload speeds than anything delivered over coax in the state west of Houston) may well be a reaction to Google Fiber in Austin, or TWC's planned Maxx service, but the fact that the revised service is available in areas that GFiber may never reach is a plus for anyone, for example, looking for connectivity outside the "fiber zone". Plus, to be fair, the infrastructure upgrades across Grande's footprint that made these aggressive tiers possible were started before Google announced that it was bringing fiber to Austin.

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RWSI

join:2012-11-27
Albuquerque, NM

What is the catch

Somewhere their has to be a catch. usage caps? Bandwidth costs money and having this kind of connection " 110M" has somewhere a catch.
In our world $3 dollars a meg is the real cost for a true connection.
borka

join:2003-04-01
Brooklyn, NY

Re: What is the catch

This is a residential connection, $3/meg does not apply. those are more like business pricing.

by your logic googles 1Gbit connection should cost $3000 instead of $70 ?
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
Weak HD lineup

TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

1 recommendation

These aren't dedicated circuits. Neither is GFiber.

Re: What is the catch

said by TAZ:

Neither is GFiber.

Citation please? We have been told in KC it is dedicated single mode from the hut to the house. From the hut to the backbone it is multiplexed 32 way on one fiber. Each user has a dedicated virtual circuit on the 32 way split.

If you have some other info please post

TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

1 recommendation

Re: What is the catch

said by GFiber user :

Citation please? We have been told in KC it is dedicated single mode from the hut to the house. From the hut to the backbone it is multiplexed 32 way on one fiber. Each user has a dedicated virtual circuit on the 32 way split.

The last mile may be dedicated, but beyond there, it is not. I've seen various claims about the last mile technology used. Some claim it's WDM-PON, others claim it's straight-up GigE to each user over a dedicated strand. Since WDM-PON isn't really mature at this point, I'm inclined to believe it's the latter.

Within their network, they do not have 1 Gbps of capacity for every user. It's aggregated and they don't need that amount of capacity. If they actually had it, the price would be more like $2000-$3000/mo. at best, and that's assuming the savings of high commits would be passed on. (Well, technically, the commits wouldn't be very high if that was the offering. :P)

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

3 edits

Re: What is the catch

said by TAZ:

The last mile may be dedicated

Its aggregated at the backbone edge router, which is the best kind of dedicated you can get for general access.

You seem to think a dedicated connection means to every computer on the internet.

TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

Re: What is the catch

said by DataRiker:

You seem to think a dedicated connection means to every computer on the internet.

No.

Does Google have 1 Gbps * number of customers to Level 3, who I understand is their upstream for GFiber? (Hint: no)

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: What is the catch

said by TAZ:

said by DataRiker:

You seem to think a dedicated connection means to every computer on the internet.

No.

Does Google have 1 Gbps * number of customers to Level 3, who I understand is their upstream for GFiber? (Hint: no)

As long as we understand users are getting a dedicated connection I don't care how you spin it.

Upgrading edge routers is easy. Upgrading the last mile is not. If and when Google needs capacity it can easily be upgraded.

That difference is spectacularly significant, and your attempt to minimize it is both obvious and sad.

TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

2 edits

Re: What is the catch

said by DataRiker:

Upgrading edge routers is easy. Upgrading the last mile is not. If and when Google needs capacity it can easily be upgraded.

Sure. Just like DSL in fact.

said by DataRiker:

That difference is spectacularly significant, and your attempt to minimize it is both obvious and sad.

What are you talking about?

BTW, I'm pro-GFiber; you seem to think this is some attack on it. It's not. There's nothing wrong with any of this. This is simply how residential connections are (and that's good because otherwise the cost would be significantly higher).

I'm responding to this:

said by RWSI:

In our world $3 dollars a meg is the real cost for a true connection.

He's referring to dedicated circuits where capacity is actually reserved within the ISP's network. Indeed, those could be in the $3/Mbps (95th-percentile) range. (Of course, it all varies depending on who the ISP is, as well as commits. Premium carriers would be within that area while bulk/lower-end carriers are more in the $1 area.)

GFiber is a residential service. The last mile capacity is dedicated, just as DSL is (does anyone want to make that comparison?), but within their network it's not. In fact I'm willing to bet the access layer itself is oversubscribed.

And that's why GFiber has AUP restrictions on things like servers (with the "home server" exception), while this $3/Mbps dedicated circuit we're speaking of does not.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: What is the catch

said by TAZ:

Sure. Just like DSL in fact.

Almost. I used to work on DSL. On our newest VDSL you are aggregated before the edge router with all of our xDSL at the co-location, and then sent via fiber to another co-location with backbone. ( really depends on your area )

xDSL customers had it worse. Almost all of our line cards were failing and ancient, which means we cram them full. Definitely way oversold before the edge.

That combined with the fact that the vast majority of our xDSL customers received less than 3.0 mbit/s would make for a bad comparison.

This myth really came about because xDSL was never really oversold to the extent of cable simply because it under delivered by a wide margin.

You definitely see wild shifts in speeds on xDSL these days with our setup.

TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

Re: What is the catch

said by DataRiker:

Almost. I used to work on DSL. On our newest VDSL you are aggregated before the edge router with all of our xDSL at the co-location, and then sent via fiber to another co-location with backbone. ( really depends on your area )

But I'm not referring to that. I'm referring specifically to the customer circuit. DSL is dedicated in that aspect, and so is GFiber with dedicated GigE runs to each user. (In other words, point-to-point networks.)

It's of course possible for the access layer uplinks to be congested (happens all the time, in fact), but that is the same whether we're talking about DSL or GFiber. I suspect GFiber has ample capacity going to their access switches, so this isn't likely to be an issue, but the same can apply for properly-managed DSL.

said by DataRiker:

xDSL customers had it worse. Almost all of our line cards were failing and ancient, which means we cram them full. Definitely way oversold before the edge.

I assume by "line card" you're referring to a DSLAM chassis as a whole.

DSLAM uplinks being congested happens, but that's an issue with poor network management.

said by DataRiker:

This myth really came about because xDSL was never really oversold to the extent of cable simply because it under delivered by a wide margin.

It's not really a myth, it's just creative advertising. Telcos like to use it in their DSL vs. cable attack ads. It's technically true in that (as we've established) the DSL circuit is dedicated (a point-to-point connection) while a cable network is point-to-multipoint and hence shared between everyone on the node. They just conveniently forget to mention the access layer (i.e. the DSLAM) is still oversubscribed.

said by DataRiker:

You definitely see wild shifts in speeds on xDSL these days with our setup.

Not all DSL setups are like this.

CenturyLink out here has the same "two tier" setup. Their GigE-fed ADSL2+/VDSL2 DSLAMs are never congested (they're oversubscribed, but reasonably), but customers still on T1 or DS3-fed DSLAMs aren't as lucky and there's tons of complaints in the CL forum.
buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME
There's got to be a catch.
I mean, a cable operator, with a 10:1 ratio across the board. Decent range of speeds and prices.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: What is the catch

They are very small and I believe they are privately owned.
tanzam75

join:2012-07-19

Re: What is the catch

They're also a cable overbuilder. That means that they have to compete with an incumbent cable provider -- not just slow DSL -- across their entire territory.

SrsBsns

join:2001-08-30
Oklahoma City, OK
said by RWSI:

Somewhere their has to be a catch. usage caps? Bandwidth costs money and having this kind of connection " 110M" has somewhere a catch.
In our world $3 dollars a meg is the real cost for a true connection.

This is the result of competition, no catch. Ever lived in Austin? You can take your pick between 4 electric companies.
sgip2000

join:2004-05-05
Hillsboro, OR
said by RWSI:

Somewhere their has to be a catch. usage caps? Bandwidth costs money and having this kind of connection " 110M" has somewhere a catch.
In our world $3 dollars a meg is the real cost for a true connection.

Maybe the catch is the 11M upload?

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
not 110M[thats 880mbps]
netrixtardis

join:2013-01-08
San Antonio, TX
The catch - Live in an area serviced by Grande... in San Antonio... that isn't a whole lot of places...
cmarslett

join:2006-11-22
Pflugerville, TX
Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·NetTalk
·T-Mobile US
·Clearwire Wireless
Grande is great in my son's neighborhood in Austin, but has had authorization to overbuild in Pflugerville for well over a decade. Still hasn't done it because, I have been told, build out is far more expensive here (maybe because the city honchos are not interested in challenging the big players: AT&T and Suddenlink).

That's perhaps not the catch you are looking for, but it does mean that they can't build out the way I would like them to. I guess I just need to leave this crooked burg.
borka

join:2003-04-01
Brooklyn, NY

great prices

Those are some really good internet only prices!

I would be very happy with a 50meg connection for $45! but here in Comcast land a 50meg internet only is $75

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

1 recommendation

Re: great prices

said by borka:

Those are some really good internet only prices!

I would be very happy with a 50meg connection for $45! but here in Comcast land a 50meg internet only is $75

Indeed! I pay $60/month to Cablevision for 18/5 service. There was a time when Cablevision was leading edge. Not any more...
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
thedragonmas

join:2007-12-28
Albany, GA
kudos:1

Re: great prices

said by n2jtx:

Indeed! I pay $60/month to Cablevision for 18/5 service.

mediacom "launch" 3M/256K = $30/mo + $5 modem rental. vs grande's 15M / 1.5M - $34.99 makes me a sad dragon

proof to me that we need competition (and no, i dont count sat or cell as "competition" )
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: great prices

Mediacom has competition in some markets. It doesn't make a difference. You can buy 100/100 in Oskaloosa Iowa for ~$38. Mediacom's prices are more or less the same as everywhere else, save for some possible promotions.
ghosti

join:2014-02-01
united state

1 recommendation

Re: great prices

Mediacom 50/5 standard is $80, 105/10 is $100 (in the few markets offered).I pay $40/month for 15/1 (on promotion, reg is $50). There is zero competition in my market, no dsl or anything fiber/hybrid. 50/5 was just launched in the past few months here, used to be 30/2 was the top tier.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26
I'd be happy to have those choices of tiers also, let alone the prices, but unfortunately I live in the land of a 2 tier only, take it or leave attitude that is Charter!

Their 50/5 plan is $5 cheaper and 1M up faster than Charters even!!
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/
Crusty

join:2008-11-11
Sanger, TX
Reviews:
·Embarq Now Centu..
·CenturyLink
·Speed of Light B..
said by borka:

Those are some really good internet only prices!

I would be very happy with a 50meg connection for $45! but here in Comcast land a 50meg internet only is $75

I'd gladly pay $75 for that speed. CenturyLink (aka - CenturySuck) says I pay for 10Mbps/.768k all for the low low price of $67 after all those fees/taxes. Now, if I could only get above the 3Mpbs threshold during the times I want to use my connection..that be great.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000

1 recommendation

Amazing speed and price points

I can tell I'm not in a competitive market since these kinds of speed+price options for internet are not available to me.
alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

What difference does this make for anyone?????

1. Grande DOES NOT compete directly with TWC in any market that im aware of!!!

2. Grande is as limited in footprint as is UVerse and GFiber

3. Grande's availability is mostly available in apartment/condo communities where NO other provider is allowed ie: UVerse, GFiber, TWC.

so again what difference does it make?

Ryan in Waco

@grandenetworks.net

-1 recommendation

Re: What difference does this make for anyone?????

Not true. Grande competes directly against TWC in Corpus Christi, Austin, Waco and Dallas. I'm not sure about their footprint in SA, but maybe there too. Grande has a substantial footprint in many of those markets. It is not just a few high-end developments like Gigapower.
iansltx

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

1 recommendation

Like Ryan said, Grande competes head-on with AT&T and TWC in places like Austin. Yes, in some cases Grande has apartment complexes locked up, and they've probably got a smaller footprint than U-Verse VDSL in the cities they serve. But it's not nearly as vanishingly small as GFiber or GigaPower.

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US
·Sprint Mobile Br..
said by alexintexas:

1. Grande DOES NOT compete directly with TWC in any market that im aware of!!!

2. Grande is as limited in footprint as is UVerse and GFiber

3. Grande's availability is mostly available in apartment/condo communities where NO other provider is allowed ie: UVerse, GFiber, TWC.

so again what difference does it make?

1. Where did you get that idea?

2. TWC is overbuilt in Austin and most of Travis county by Grande and for that matter, a good portion of Texas.

3. Grande is available where TWC isn't exclusive just the same as TWC is where Grande isn't. Both compete with Uverse in a majority of the area.
--


notoz

@grandenetworks.net
Here in Corpus they are in more homes than apartments, basically they are our best alternative to TWC. I am typing this in my house on Grande's 50 mbps tier.

Ryan in Waco

@grandenetworks.net

Grande is Great

I've been meaning to write a review for Grande. They really are great. I've had them for years for home internet and recently switched my TV service over too (from Dish). The prices are very competitive. No caps that I am aware of. Netflix and YouTube always work great, even during primetime hours. Their support is fast and competent. And for DVR services they use TiVo Premiere. They really have to be one of the better MSOs in the entire country. If you are in their footprint and are still using TWC, you really need to reevaluate your choice.
iansltx

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

Re: Grande is Great

I wish I could get Grande, but I'm too far north. Technically there are apartment complexes north of me that have Grande (likely as the exclusive provider; I was at one for the 'bowl on Sunday) but there are relatively few of those.

It's really agitating when I have to SSH tunnel to get my high-end TWC connection...which Grande now sells for $44.99...to stream YouTube without stuttering. From what I've seen, Grande doesn't have this issue.

Ryan in Waco

@grandenetworks.net
I've been meaning to write a review for Grande. They really are great. I've had them for years for home internet and recently switched my TV service over too (from Dish). The prices are very competitive. No caps that I am aware of. Netflix and YouTube always work great, even during primetime hours. Their support is fast and competent. And for DVR services they use TiVo Premiere. They really have to be one of the better MSOs in the entire country. If you are in their footprint and are still using TWC, you really need to reevaluate your choice.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
Those packages are all cheaper then Cox offers here.
MrBungle87

join:2013-01-18
Durham, NC
...Time Warner can't even roll out their 100Mbit upgrades on time.
wiegeit02

join:2014-01-06
I love how so many of the big cable and telcos HATE the idea of competition, yet they also claim they love capitalism. LOL. Hypocrites.

Those are very good values!

Just goes to show you when there is competition the consumer wins.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
Looks like excellent pricing. Something has to be done about the internet bundling, as it's not only hurt cord cutters, of which there are relatively few, but it's extremely anti-competitive against DirecTV and DISH, as in most markets, you have pay a ton extra to get fast internet and satellite TV.

•••••
clocks11

join:2002-05-06
00000
Shocked it includes HD, DVR, etc . at that price. That would be all I need, some basic tv and a fast net connection for a decent price.