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randallmark

New member in Midland, TX (Grande ISP, formerly Suddenlink))

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Though I am a new member of forums, I have been using TestMy.net for over a year now, and am persuaded that it is superior to other test sites I have used.

I live in Midland, Texas, where I manage two family businesses (oil & gas; water) mostly online from an office in my home. This enables me to take care of my invalid widowed mother (age 83) who lives with me. I am a heavy computer and internet user, though far from a pro at either. I am aiming for a "paperless office." My principal computer is a recent MacPro, though I also have an iMac and a Dell pc on my network (both wired and wireless, NetGear router). I also use an iPad and an iPhone.

We are heavy users of broadband. Besides my normal business and personal use of the internet, I also do extensive online trading and research of stocks and other investments with real-time charting. I do online backups of my hard drives. I follow my news, weather, political, and religious interests online (I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian believer). I download many ebooks, audiobooks, and podcasts. For telephone service, we use Ooma VOIP (works great).

Mother constantly watches her favorite movies and TV shows using Roku and Netflix streaming video. We both decided we never wanted to watch another TV commercial, and we wanted to watch only what we wanted when we wanted, so we long since discontinued cable and satellite TV service in favor of Roku streaming. Mother and I both listen to our favorite music many hours a day streaming on MOG or Pandora. As long as our internet service is reliable and fast, this works great for us. There's the rub.

A couple of months ago, a representative of Grande Communications knocked on our door to inform us that they had just wired our neighborhood (Racquet Club South). I listened with interest because heretofore the only cable-modem option for our location was Suddenlink. (ATT and DSL have long been dirty words to me).

My experience with Suddenlink had been consistently dismal, even though I was paying $89/month just for their top-grade home internet service. Occasionally, for short periods I would receive their advertized 36mbps download speed, but it varied wildly, and mostly I got between 3 and 18mbps. A few times a month it would cease entirely. I spent hundreds of hours on the phone with tech support, had many service-call visits (often from their top tech supervisors), and replaced several modems and much wiring, but with no lasting improvement in speed or reliablity. If they could get it up to speed, it would quickly get slower and slower till it stopped. They refused to credit me a penny off the $89/month for the many months of poor service. I felt trapped and abused.

My neighbors on both sides told me they had similar problems with Suddenlink internet. This is especially strange, since Suddenlink's main north/south fiber optic trunk line in Midland runs right under the street we live on.

I knew that Grande had been serving a few Midland neighborhoods for many years, and I knew that their company-wide speed averages on TestMy.net were only mediocre. However, their sales rep told me that they were shifting their focus more toward internet, and claimed that the new lines they were installing in our neighborhood would enable them to offer much faster and more reliable service than before. They are also promising no data usage caps, which is really significant for us. They offer no-contract plans with several speed choices. I decided to give them a try with their 24mbps plan, since they were giving a $24/month introductory offer (including rental of an Arris docsis-3 modem, the same we were using with Suddenlink).

It's only been about six weeks since we switched to Grande, but so far I am very encouraged. Their internet service has been far more reliable and consistent than we had with Suddenlink. More often than not, I get well over the 24mbps downloads advertized, and my uploads are usually between 2 and 2.7mbps. Thus far my slowest download has been 18.8mbps and my slowest upload has been 1.8mbps. Only twice have I needed to restart the modem, and it bounced back immediately.

Streaming movies and shows via Netflix and Roku now look and sound like DVDs on our 70" plasma TV. Mother is thrilled.

I would be curious to know what kind of speeds and reliability Grande users are getting in other parts of Midland with older lines.

If things continue to go well, I expect to eventually upgrade to their new 65mbps plan. I wonder if any of you have tried that plan?

Will someone please instruct me how to paste or attach my TestMy.net test records with my posts? I would be much obliged.

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Hey Randall, welcome to the site! That's definitely one of the longer posts I've seen here. :evil6:

To add your average, max or a specific score to your forum signature do this...

In the upper right under the forums, while signed in click your name...

post-2-0-20977300-1310441186_thumb.png

then click 'edit my profile'

post-2-0-23191100-1310441185_thumb.png

then click 'change signature'

post-2-0-20706100-1310441275_thumb.png

... this is where you'd enter the code that you get when you click "Share on Forums"

Your max for instance would be entered by first going to your results... post-2-0-61261600-1310441596_thumb.png then click... post-2-0-46066400-1310441522_thumb.png

I hope this helps. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with me and my users.

- D

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Hi Randall, good to see your mother is happier with your current service !

I have one question for you , I'm using an Arris modem as well , would you take a look at the specs at 192.168.100.1 , and in the upstream location , tell me if it states docsis 2.0 or 3.0

I'm curious for several reasons, one of which others have told me that using several arris modems , it states incorrectly ( I'm not buying that for a split second btw ) , and I'm building my case to take to my ISP.

thanks if you find the time.

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Thanks for writing, Mudmanc4. I have attached the Arris spec sheet produced when I clicked your link. It is not clear to me whether it anwsers your question or not. The box the modem came in clearly says docsis 3.0.

Randall

Hi Randall, good to see your mother is happier with your current service !

I have one question for you , I'm using an Arris modem as well , would you take a look at the specs at 192.168.100.1 , and in the upstream location , tell me if it states docsis 2.0 or 3.0

I'm curious for several reasons, one of which others have told me that using several arris modems , it states incorrectly ( I'm not buying that for a split second btw ) , and I'm building my case to take to my ISP.

thanks if you find the time.

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Your story is troublesome to my ears(or eyes??) Randallmark. I am a regular to many tech related forums, among a few others as well, though I never seem to have the time to post anything nor do I jot down my sentiments as they occur in hopes of returning when time is under less constraints, your post has successfully invoked me into a post.*congratulations!!*Ahhhhhhh....Suddenlink. I have only been a customer for mere weeks, maybe a month and a half, but I can already see we're going to be such good friends. HA! Well, at least their CS department & I. I admit , my bill was inadvertently in arrears, due to lack of observation on my part & lack of billing on the part of my *former* provider, NPG Cable. For 6 months. So my account became an insatiable monster that my current salary was unable to content. NPG was unfortunately bought out by Suddenlink & I was unfortunately, forced into becoming a customer. So they welcomed me to the table with a prebilling disconnect. I call, pay $200 (on a under 300 total) & my services are, 'restored'. For a whole 3 hours. Maybe. But even that was a whole ordeal. The wonderfull CS had to send a ticket to IT because they couldnt unlock my ,modem, that should not have locked in the first place. & I must have been asleep while there signal was up because I never seen any improvement over the throttled (37kpbs!!) insanity that they insist is IS. I have not had a consistent service since they took over & now we have a 'tech' coming tommorrow to look things over. They try to charge me & I'll be going prepaid mobile hot spot so help me. Your post provided me with enough insight to know that this company, as I had suspected, is not worthy of recieving a dime of my hard earned $$. That & the years dtaed major complaints on them to the FCC (I believe?) that ended in formal legal action. Got to love when the big boys come in & take the smaller fish all out with one fail swoop. There is a lack of providers in my area. Its either them or none. DSL is a joke, especially around here, unless you aare a well below moderate user who doesn't download anything ever. Ahh, well. I guess I should end my rant, appologize for consuming anyones time with such nonsense and get to thje restart that windows has been pestering me with for a little over 6 hours. =) Just wish me luck.

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Video how-to for future reference.

like it!

and i totally know how you guys feel with having only 1 sub-par ISP as an option, i came from a town of 400 and there was only 1 DSL provider it was either them or satillite i was paying $50/mo for what started out at 1Mbps/1Mbps and then went to 3Mbps/128Kbps at that point i promptly called and asked to have my upload increased i had to give them reasons why and i had a very long list they bumped my upload to 768Kbps so i was at 3Mbps/768Kbps for about a year and then for the final year i got bumped to 8Mbps/1.5Mbps

keep in mind these were all just advertised speeds that i could see the modem sync up at, which i never actually saw.... did i mention they were using the modem/router itself to block ports and were just locking them and using remote access on the modem. nothing a simple reset to default couldn't cure to open any port i wanted :uglystupid2:

the ISP actually got angry with me when they found out i replaced their crappy modem/router combo with a very reliable Zoom ADSL modem i got from amazon lol they threatened to terminate my service

in any case there are just to many of these small ISPs out there offering this type of crummy service i wish there was more that could be done

~ Mark

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Update:

It has now been over five months since I switched from Suddenlink to Grande, and I continue to be well-pleased with Grande. Their service has truly been rock solid at or above their advertized speeds. My dowloads still typically range between 24 and 26 mbps My upload speeds have actually improved, and are now typically near 3 mbps. We have experienced zero area outages and no extended slowdowns. The day and time seem to make little difference, and we make use of it almost around the clock. When we get one of our rather frequent but brief power outages, I do a simple restart of modem and router, and everything is fine again.

I noticed today that here in Midland, Grande is now offering a new residential service-teir of 110 mpbs downloads/ 5 mbps uploads. Tempting!

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Update:

It has now been over five months since I switched from Suddenlink to Grande, and I continue to be well-pleased with Grande. Their service has truly been rock solid at or above their advertized speeds. My dowloads still typically range between 24 and 26 mbps My upload speeds have actually improved, and are now typically near 3 mbps. We have experienced zero area outages and no extended slowdowns. The day and time seem to make little difference, and we make use of it almost around the clock. When we get one of our rather frequent but brief power outages, I do a simple restart of modem and router, and everything is fine again.

I noticed today that here in Midland, Grande is now offering a new residential service-teir of 110 mpbs downloads/ 5 mbps uploads. Tempting!

thats great to hear! and i would jump on a deal like that in a heart beat :laughing7:

~ TriRan

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