One of the hottest news on the ISP landscape in the U.S. has been the formal emergence of the “new sixth largest” internet service provider - Astound Broadband.
The move to unite multiple regional ISPs under one umbrella started back in 2018 with the founding of Astound Broadband. It hasn’t been much of an industry secret since, with press releases frequently referring to the company as Astound Broadband. Interested audiences could see a unification of sorts was in the works even before things were formalized and all sub-brands were united under one parent.
If you reside on the West Coast, in the Northeast or Texas, where you’ve long heard the names Wave Broadband, RCN and Grande Communications, our article today could prove informative, and helpful at a time when you are in the market for an internet subscription.
Based in Princeton, New Jersey, Astound Broadband was founded nearly 4 years ago. At that time the private-equity firm TPG Capital completed its purchase of Wave Broadband, and combined it with its existing assets i.e. RCN Corporation and Grande Communications, already acquired in 2017. Later in 2020 TPG further expanded this ISP unit by including Houston-based enTouch Systems.
Interestingly however, soon after the acquisition of enTouch Systems, TPG sold off the unit to Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, as it saw an opportunity in wake of the increased consumption of the internet following the onset of COVID-19.
Under the new parent organization, Astound Broadband has continued to expand its footprint across the U.S. San Luis Obispo-based Digital West, and Texas-based Harris Broadband were incorporated in 2021. And by mid 2022 it is expected Astound will start operating in 3 WOW! (Wide Open West) markets - Chicago, IL, Evansville, IN, and Anne Arundel County, MD.
As this latest acquisition completes later this year, Astound Broadband would have approximately 1.2 million residential and business subscribers spread around 8 of the top 10 U.S. markets. Fiber-to-the-Home coverage across its footprint would stand at 15%. And network coverage will be available in California, Oregon, Washington, Washington DC, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Indiana and Maryland.
Before the formal launch of Astound Broadband in January 2022, its ex-parent TPG, maintained Grande, RCN and Wave as assets that were pretty much independent of each other despite shared resources. With Astound taking charge, it envisions to include these powerful regional sub-brands in the process of evolution, marked by its policy of mergers and acquisitions. And, under this strategy the northeastern markets will fall under RCN, on the West Coast Wave will run the show, while in Texas things would be headed by Grande.
A family of different brands, Astound aspires to make things easier for the audience. The company wants people to understand all these brands now form a single unit operated by Astound. One reason why while all things commercial will go as Astound Business Solutions, for residential services we will see a new naming scheme that makes the transition easier on the consumer psyche. So, if you are looking for internet on the West Coast, you will be directed to Astound Broadband powered by Wave. In the Northeast, the company serves you as Astound Broadband powered by RCN. And, in Texas you’ve Astound Broadband powered by Grande.
Astound is also methodically updating the branding of a broad range of its assets and properties such as signs, vehicles, uniforms, and websites.
As for Astound Business Solutions, it also rests on the unified strengths of its sub-brands. With 31,000 route miles of Fiber across the U.S., and alternate Fiber paths to prevent data loss and obstruction in workflow during an outage, Astound Broadband endeavors to meet fundamental needs of enterprise and small scale businesses.
Astound Broadband makes things easier for the consumer. While the new scheme of things allows it to draw on the capabilities and strengths of each sub-brand, for the consumer it means Astound will give you an award-winning internet service option whether you are on the West Coast, in the Northeast or the Lone Star State. Because reputed regional names in the industry - RCN, Grande Communications, and Wave Broadband - are now under the Astound Broadband roof.
All have enjoyed popularity in their respective service regions by delivering reliable internet, cable TV and home phone services at affordable rates over a long time, and have been recognized in the industry for the service quality.
Astound Broadband powered by Wave has a significant footprint on the West Coast states i.e. California, Oregon and Washington. For over 15 years the provider has been the place to shop for residential products such as high-speed internet, advanced TV and communication services.
The Wave Internet service is primarily delivered over an advanced hybrid Fiber-Coaxial network, and brings you cable broadband powered by the latest technologies. Fast internet speeds range from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. While plans below the Gig plan come with a data cap, you get plenty of allowance for the month. And you can also double your data for small fee, without having to upgrade to a higher speed that you don’t need. Bundle the internet with Wave cable TV. It allows you a lot of room for customization so you don’t pay for networks you don’t watch.
As for existing customers, no need to stress out. Nothing changes for you. Not the service or package, not the customer support numbers, or how you maintain your account and billing.
Astound Broadband powered by RCN depicts a strong footprint in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York among other service locations. Accessible to over 4 million, it delivers speeds ranging from 250 Mbps to 940 Mbps across its coverage area. You get unlimited data with fast speeds, that are widely delivered over a hybrid Fiber-Coaxial network. All at affordable prices, with no annual contracts involved. If you want you can also bundle your high-speed internet with Cable TV and an unlimited home phone service.
As for existing RCN customers, nothing changes really. Your services or packages won’t change, the account number remains the same, you pay your monthly bill the same way, and you get in touch with customer support at the same phone numbers.
Astound Broadband powered by Grande serves the Texan market. You will find high-speed internet, cable TV and unlimited home phone service from the provider in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, San Marcos, San Antonio, Greater Temple, Midland/Odessa, and Waco.
Grande Internet gives you a reliable and fast connection which is primarily delivered over a hybrid Fiber-Coaxial network. Unlimited data with fast speeds at affordable rates make Grande Internet a top choice in its service locations. Grande also offers a cable TV service, which you can bundle with the Internet at market competitive rates.
Like with counterparts, if you are an existing customer of Grande, rest assured nothing will change for you. You stay on the same service package, pay your bill the same way, log into the same online account, and call the same people for customer support.
With customer focus at its core Astound Broadband pledges to prioritize its customers in how it conducts business. Whether it is Wave, Grande or RCN that delivers the service to you in your specific region, Astound aims to fulfill what it pledges to the consumer no matter where you are located in its service footprint.
Astound Broadband has launched formally very recently. Given how fast it has come to evolve as the new sixth largest broadband provider in the U.S., and its ongoing merger and acquisition strategy, it will be interesting to see how it continues to draw upon the strong points of its sub-brands in each region. Perhaps we will see more standardized services and product range as time goes by. Only time can tell.
Astound Broadband is now owned by Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners.
The following companies are now part of Astound Broadband:
Yes. RCN is now Astound Broadband powered by RCN. Astound Broadband acquired it from TPG Capital along with Grande Communications. Similarly, Wave Broadband is now Astound Broadband powered by Wave, and Grande Communications is Astound Broadband powered by Grande.
No. At this time service packages and offers are not undergoing changes. RCN, Grande and Wave will retain their individual pricing and offer schemes in their respective service regions.
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