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Grande Takeover Announced by ABRY Partners – Owners of Atlantic Broadband

Phillip Dampier June 13, 2009 Grande 3 Comments
Grande Communications serves 148,000 and 147,000 Texas residential and business customers, respectively.

Grande Communications serves 148,000 and 147,000 Texas residential and business customers, respectively.

Grande Communications, the San Marcos, Texas company competing against Time Warner Cable and AT&T, will effectively be sold to ABRY Partners, an investment banking firm based in Boston, for an undisclosed sum.

Grande, familiar to Stop the Cap! readers in Austin, ran advertisements back in April and May against Time Warner Cable and AT&T touting their broadband service as being free from Internet Overcharging schemes.  The company has managed to build its fiber optic network to reach approximately 20% of homes in the Austin area, mostly in the northeast and eastern areas, as well as Tarrytown.

Growth had been slow for the “overbuilder” due to financing difficulties.  Investors feared a three-way competition between cable, telephone, and fiber-based Grande, because heavy competition usually results in lower prices and profits, decreasing their potential return.

With ABRY effectively helping refill Grande’s bank accounts to allow them to accelerate the building of their network, Grande hopes to achieve one million homes passed by their network in a few short years.

ABRY has experience in the broadband market with their ownership of Atlantic Broadband, the nation’s 15th largest cable operator serving customers in Florida, Maryland, Delaware, South Carolina and central Pennsylvania.

The deal requires internal review from Grande’s board of directors and external review by the Federal Communications Commission, the Texas Public Utilities Commission, and others.

Currently there are 3 comments on this Article:

  1. Scott says:

    I really hope this means that Grande will be available in my 78704 apartment complex at some point in the not-so-distant future.

  2. Page says:

    I’d love it if they could make it out to my complex too! We currently have one option, Time Warner. We can’t get anything else. 🙁 No AT&T (which I’m not a huge fan of anyway), no Grande, just TW and their idea that billing 3 months at once + transfer fees is an acceptable practice.

    • Ryan says:

      With apartments there are usually one service available because of build room. The Apartment Ownership sets a contract with a service provider to run lines in the complex including the lines that go up to the side of the buildings which are on private property with little easement room. The communications provider with the contract will run lines to each building to one junction box where all the lines in the particular building come together. To have two communications providers to go into one small juction box would cause all kinds of problems with one set of lines going to each apartment. These junction boxes are owned by the communication company that has the contract on the complex. To allow another company to provide services they would have to have their own box with either seperate lines (most apartment owners won’t want that), or have some kind of intermediary box for cross connections which someone would have to pay for to set up, either the apartment complex or a deal between the two communication companies.

      The best option is to tell your apartment complex to change providers when their contract is up for renewal with the current company. I would have everyone in the complex sign a petition to show demand for the change.

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