Texas-based broadband provider Grande Communications has rolled out 1-Gigabit business and residential internet service in San Antonio.
The mid-sized Texas company was acquired a year ago by private equity firm TPG Capital, which said in May that it will combine Grande with other recent acquisitions RCN and Wave to create the No. 6 cable operator in the U.S.
Grande will charge $70 and up per month for the service, including free home Wi-Fi. It joins other MVPDs in ramping up broadband offerings as customer appetites for data and streaming continue to increase. Texas, as BroadbandNow has noted, is among states with laws restricting municipalities from directly marketing broadband to residents. That hurdle tends to preserve commercial providers' advantage, and often their control can shape markets over the long term. The FCC has found that 62% of U.S. broadband customers still have only one choice of provider.
Ultimately, though, the demand for data has generally outweighed monopoly concerns. One-third of Americans have three or more smartphones in their household, according to a Pew Research Center report cited by Grande in its press release. Nearly one in five juggle 10 or more devices under one roof.
“Today, the average home has more connected devices than ever before, and the way those devices are being used is expanding to include increasing amounts of video consumption,” said Matt Rohre, senior vice president of operations and general manager for Grande. “That means there is an unprecedented need for both more capacity and faster internet service.”