Grande Speeds Past Suddenlink

4:30 PM -- Grande Communications has unseated Suddenlink Communications as the U.S. cable modem speed king after launching a 110Mbit/s (downstream) Docsis 3.0 tier in several markets in Texas. [Ed. note: Hat tip to @iansltx for drawing our attention to it.]

Grande, an overbuilder that competes primarily with Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), launched its Peak tier earlier this month in Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Waco, Midland and Odessa, Texas, pairing it with an upstream link that maxes out at a very asymmetrical 5Mbit/s. No word yet on when Grande will debut the service in Dallas.

The 110-meg tier sells for -– wait for it -– $110 per month, and complements its other higher-end Docsis tiers (65/4 and 40/4).

Grande doesn't impose monthly bandwidth limits or excessive use policies, so its customers can stream Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) to their heart's content. (See Comcast Draws the Line at 250GB and AT&T to Fit Subs With Broadband Caps .)

Before Peak popped on July 11, Suddenlink's 107-Meg tier was the fastest residential D3 service in the land. Suddenlink held that distinction for almost 16 months. We'll see how long Grande gets to keep the crown. (See Suddenlink Unleashes 107-Meg Wideband Tier.)

But how much does it really matter? It gives Grande some nice bragging rights and resets the bar, but those don't pay the bills. And we'd be surprised if this new tier, particularly at that price, will attract a small number of customers.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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