Grande Goes Bigger With 1-Gig

Grande Communications said it is expanding the reach of its fiber-fed 1-Gig broadband service to new and existing customers in the West Campus area of Austin, Texas.

That will mark the third gigabit expansion site for the company, which has ongoing deployments in Buda and West Austin. Grande is expanding its reach with 1-Gig as speed competitoin in Austin continues to heat up. Google Fiber has construction underway for its 1-Gig-capable network in Austin, with service sign-ups slated to start next month.  as does AT&T, which is targeting parts of Austin with its fiber-based “GigaPower” network.

Time Warner Cable, Austin's incumbent cable operator, recently completed a broadband upgrade across the city that includes a new 300 Mbps (downstream) DOCSIS 3.0-powered service that replaces its former 50-Meg offering.

Grande launched its consumption cap- and contract-free 1-Gig service in the Austin area in February, selling the “Power 1000” tier for $64.99 per month. In Austin, AT&T sells GigaPower for $70 per month under a “Premier” plan under which customers must agree to participate in AT&T Internet Preferences, a targeted Web advertising program; and for $99 per month under its “Standard” offering.

“Grande’s plan is to expand 1G service to areas where there is clearly high demand. West Campus is adjacent to the University of Texas, so there is a high density of college students in the area,” said Grande SVP of operations and GM Matt Rohre, in a statement. “ Austinites are hungry for fast speeds and we are evaluating the options to broaden our 1G coverage area in 2015.”