Reading’s new internet provider promises half-price packages
A new broadband provider will come to Reading promising ‘half-price’ internet access to neighbours.
Grain Connect, or Grain for short, has announced a £200m investment in a quest to bring internet to 400,000 properties in the UK.
Grain claims to offer broadband at around half the price of other broadband providers in the region, without charging line rental, installation costs or administration fees.
Additionally, Roland Barzegar, CFO of Grain, said: “We recently introduced our Loyalty Pricing Promise, where at the end of their contract we offer customers to renew at the same monthly price we advertise to new customers. on their street, showing that once you sign a contract with Grain, you will always have access to great prices and your loyalty will not be taken advantage of.
“This is particularly important to us now as customers are impacted by the rising cost of living.”
Grain has also pledged never to increase prices during the term of a contract or to charge postage, packing and installation costs.
However, Grain’s arrival has raised concerns among councilors about roadworks which could cause traffic chaos.
Separate company CityFibre has been accused of causing traffic chaos in Caversham and miscommunication with residents of Coley.
READ MORE: CityFibre grilled by councilors over traffic chaos in Reading
This summer, advisers interviewed CityFibre and Grain officials about their operations.
Peter Murphy, Head of Broadband Operations at Grain, said: “We are targeting a certain demographic as we are the cheapest ISP (internet service provider) in the UK.
“So we offer the same speeds as everyone else, but probably at half the price.
“We don’t have the size of CityFibre, we’re not looking to cover the whole of Reading.
“We’re looking at probably 10-20 phases, or probably 10-20,000 properties.”
Mr Murphy added that the initial plan is to cover 6,000 properties in six phases.
Grit works in phases of 1,000 properties each, with work involving underground ‘trenches’ to provide properties with fiber connections.
Mr Murphy explained: “We keep our sites nice, small and tidy because we have to knock on the door afterwards and try to sell our product to the residents, so we are concerned about not affecting the communities in which we work because they are our target audience.”
READ MORE: CityFibre asked to explain what they will do to improve after causing ‘traffic chaos’ at Reading
There was always concern about road works and overhanging facilities.
Mr Murphy said: “It is very rare that we have overruns, we employ supervisors.
“Our customers are our lives, it is very rare that we have overruns, we put all the planning upstream.
“We have employee supervisors and contract managers on site.
“It’s much smaller and much easier to manage.”
As for communications, Mr Murphy said Grain knocks on “every door” during the 1,000 housework phase.
Additionally, the flyers that are displayed have QR codes with work permits that are translated into 25 languages.
He said: “It’s essential that residents know we’re coming.”
Although Grain is not yet rolled out, potential customers can rexpress their interest on its website.
In September, internet packages are on sale for up to 30% off in Reading, with prices starting at £17.99 per month for 100Mbps upload and download speed.
potential customers cand take advantage of the offer on the Grain website.
Mr Murphy was interviewed by Reading Borough Council’s Strategy Environment, Planning and Transport Committee on July 7.