Grande Communications Gen5 Review

Grande Communications Internet Review 2019

Pricing & Packages | Modem & Router | Features | Customer Service | Recommendation

Grande Communications is a Texas-based internet service provider that offers cable and fiber broadband services exclusively in the state of Texas. Even though it’s a small provider, it offers its services to residential and business customers and is available to over 1 million Texas citizens!


Pros:

  • No contract required
  • No data caps
  • Good speeds at decent prices


Cons:

  • Very limited service area
  • Additional fees
  • Price lock only 12 months


Packages and Pricing

Note: Note: All Grande Communications internet and other service plans vary by region, so if you’re interested in their services, make sure to check the availability and pricing before choosing their plans.

300Mbps Internet

Their entry-level fiber plan is available for $35.99 per month but even as an entry plan, it’s a pretty good deal as you get (up to) 300Mbps download speed. This is more than enough for browsing, emails, music, and even HD streaming. Playing online games won’t be a problem as long as there aren’t too many devices connected, or too many bandwidth-heavy processes in use at the same time.

600Mbps Internet

After this, the $49.99 per month middle-tier plan is the perfect choice for those bigger households with plenty of devices who don’t tend to go overboard with the number of simultaneous connections or streams. It can support fast-paced gaming, big downloads, and even 4K streaming.

1GB Internet

The highest-tier plan is available at a promotional price of $69.99 per month for the first 12 months. With this plan, there’s really nothing you can’t do. It has enough bandwidth for large households with many devices connected and in use at the same time.

Note that the prices mentioned above are for the internet service only, and that additional equipment charges will be applied to each bill. These charges include Wi-Fi router and modem fees (in case you opt to use their router and modem), as well as additional taxes and fees.

Other Services

Grande Communications also offers TV options that include:

    • Basic TV – For $16.30 per month, you get access to over 40 local broadcast and digital TV channels, with HD options included at no additional charge.
    • Basic + Preferred TV – For $70.82 per month, you get access to 40 local and digital TV channels, as well as over 220 news, sports, entertainment, and kids channels.
    • Basic + Preferred + Premier TV – For $93.81 per month, you get access to all the channels available via Grande Communications. This includes over 295 of the most popular channels with HD included at no additional charge.

*See the full channel list here.

For each of the plans above, all movies and shows are also accessible via Grande on Demand, and streaming services will be available via TiVo (Hulu, YouTube, Netflix). This also includes the Grande2Go app to access programs via phone or tablet.

There are also premium TV plans available:

  • At $31.97 per month, you can get access to HBO, HBO On Demand, HBO GO, Cinemax, MAX Go, Showtime, Showtime On Demand, Showtime Anytime, The Movie Channel, and STARZ.
  • Each of them is available as a standalone plan as well if you have a specific plan in mind:
    • HBO for $17.99 per month
    • Showtime and The Movie Channel for $15.99 per month
    • Cinemax for $15.99 per month
    • STARZ for $15.99 per month

The Cable Tiers are available as well, and new customers can choose one cable tier free of charge. The tiers available include:

  • Movie Tier – For $7.95 per month you’ll get all seven Encore channels, FX Movie Channels, and Sundance Channel.
  • UltraSports Pak – For $5.99 per month you can get all the sports channels you ever need: Fight Network, Fox College Sports, GolTV, MavTV, NFL RedZone, and many more. You will need the SportsPlus or Premier Pak to get access.
  • Tu Tele En Espanol – $7.95 per month will get you AYM Sports, Azteca America, BANDAMAX, Canal Once, CNN Espanol, dePelicula, GolTV, Tr3s, and many more.
  • HD Tier – For $6.95 per month you get HD Net Movies, Universal HD, and AXS TV.

Grande Communications also offers phone options

At $13.50 per month, you can call anywhere in the US and US territories, Canada, Mexico, and enjoy 16 calling features, some of which include call waiting, caller ID, voicemail, and much more. The Optimum phone package also includes an 8-hour battery back-up at no additional cost (Grande phone equipment required). There’s also a 24-hour battery back-up available for a one-time charge of $59.99.

Network Management and Performance

As with most internet service providers, Grande Communications actively manages its network and informs users that the speeds they advertise are the maximum possible speeds and might vary based on location and other factors.

Luckily, they are one of those providers who don’t have data caps on their plans, so you don’t have to worry about additional fees, lowering speeds, or other measures that are often taken by ISPs once users get over the allotted monthly data.

Fees

One thing that might be a deal-breaker to some customers is that Grande Communications isn’t exactly forthcoming when it comes to the fees that will be listed on monthly bills.

On their site, it’s very hard to find the types of fees charged and you’ll likely be directed to Grande Communication’s sales team instead.

Here are just some of the fees you should be aware that you might get on your Grande Communication bill:

Network Access and Maintenance Fee

This costs $3.17 per month. The fee covers the costs of maintaining and upgrading their network. It’s rather common among ISPs to have these types of fees, and Grande is no exception.

Convenience Fee

While customers are able to make a payment over the phone, they will be charged a $6.95 convenience fee, so it’s best to use other methods of payment.
There really is no comprehensive list of all possible fees listed on their site, but Grande Communications does share a “Reading your Grande Bill” guide where possible fees are listed.

You can check out the Corpus Christi bill here and see a list of possible fees (that go over $30 when combined) you might have to deal with.

For phones, customers will also have to pay the following if they wish to have an unlisted number:

  • Non-Directory Listing will be charged $2.49 per month. This option will remove the number from the local phone book, but the number will be available at the Directory Assistance and listed on Internet Directory sites.
  • Non-Published Listing will cost $2.75 per month. This will remove the number from the phone book and Internet Directory sites, and it won’t be available by calling Directory Assistance.

Your Modem and Router

Grande Communications Modem and Router ReviewGrande Communications Modem and Router Review

Grande Communications offers several modem and router options customers can choose from:

The Standard Wi-Fi & Modem option is available for $3.99 per month and includes a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, which is fine for higher internet speeds.

The Enhanced Whole Home Wi-Fi & Modem is available for $13.94 per month and comes with eero, an enhanced Wi-Fi system with mesh technology that ensures every corner of the household has high-strength signal. Here, the modem rental fee is $3.99, while the Enhanced Whole Home Wi-Fi system will cost $9.95.

You can also choose to use your own modem and combine it with Enhanced Whole Home Wi-Fi, which will save you the $3.99 per month.


Features and Benefits

Grande Communications Features and BenefitsGrande Communications Features and Benefits

SecureIT

All Grande Communications customers get an all-in-one internet security tool with their internet plans. The SecureIT protects devices from viruses, hacking attempts, and privacy threats.

eero Plus by Grande

This is a monthly subscription service available for $9.99 per month that includes premium Wi-Fi security tools. Within this service, you’ll gain access to:

  • Advanced parental controls
  • Ad-block
  • Password manager
  • Antivirus software
  • VPN protection

This package is only available to customers who opt for the Enhanced Whole Home Wi-Fi router package.

Grande Protection Plan

For $5.00 per month, you can order the Protection plan that covers service charges on in-house cable TV, telephone, and internet wiring, but also extends to service problems as a result of lack of training.

*Note: The plan covers the identification of equipment issues but additional charges for replacement or repairs may apply.

Seasonal Suspension

Grande Communications offers a seasonal program suspension option where you can place your account on hold. The hold period is between one and six months. While there is a small monthly fee for this service, the actual price isn’t listed anywhere and should be discussed with customer service.

Seasonal Suspension

Customers who order Grande Communications services online will get a free installation of all the required equipment.

Seasonal Suspension

There’s a 30-day money-back option for new residential customers that is valid when you cancel the service within 30 days of installation. Just be aware that the refund might take up to 60 days.


Customer Service

Grande Communications Customer ServiceGrande Communications Customer Service
Grande Communications has local Texas-based customer service, which makes them much faster when it comes to responses. Their website lists all their offices in Texas, as well as working hours, phone numbers and location for each.

Grande Communication customer service is also available via online chat, but it’s not a 24-hour service. Chat is only available Mondays to Fridays 7:00 AM and 10:45 PM, on Saturdays between 8:00 AM and 9:45 PM, and on Sundays between 9:00 AM and 8:45 PM.

Their phone service and support is available around the clock, and customers can reach them by calling 1-866-247-2633.

Their website also has a comprehensive tech support self-help section, where users can browse detailed guides on how to set up their Wi-Fi network, how to operate their routers, and how to use security packages and online backup services.

Their online knowledge center will guide customers through email setup, troubleshooting, internet, TV, and equipment setup, as well as help them with billing and account issues.

According to customers, they are decent and a good pick, with the most common complaint being downtimes that happen from time to time, but that is common amoung ISPs and it doesn’t seem to happen too often ( around every 6 months or more on average.) Most customers feel that Grande Communication’s customer service and tech support is better compared to other providers, but they still experience wait times once in a while.


Ways to Save on Grande Communications

Ways to Save on Grande Communications

Use Your own Modem

Grande offers customers the option to use their modem instead of leasing. They have a dedicated site that will help you determine the type of modem and router you need, depending on the package you want to take.

Bring Your Own Modem

Instead of paying a rental fee for Grande Communications’s modems, choose your own and save over $20 per month.

Bundle Up

Look into options of moving all your services to Grande Communications to get the most affordable service option. Double Play (TV+Internet) and Triple Play (TV+Internet+Phone) deals are available with Grande Communications.

Note that while these options are available and give you access to great equipment, services, and channel lineup, the final bill will still have additional taxes and fees, so make sure you look into them by calling Grande Communications directly.


Our Recommendation

Grande Communications is a decent Texas-based internet provider with local tech and customer support that really makes them stand out. The prices are competitive and acceptable, especially during the first 12 months. There are no data caps to worry about, and there are rarely any downtimes or disruptions to worry about. If you’re in their service area, they are a good pick as long as you pay attention to their fees before you sign up.