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SureWest Deploys BigBand Switched Digital Video Offering; Bandwidth Expansion Paves Way For IPTV And Other Services

BigBand Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBND) today announced that SureWest Communications (NASDAQ:SURW) has rolled out BigBand’s Switched Digital Video (SDV) offering to its Kansas City subscriber base. The SDV deployment optimizes and reclaims network bandwidth. This provides the bandwidth capacity SureWest needs to expand its channel line-up and offer new services, without requiring SureWest to convert to an all-IP network or to rely on digital analog converters (DTAs). The reclaimed and expanded bandwidth has been available for use in the delivery of additional high definition (HD) programming, data, interactive features, IPTV, and other services to traditional TVs and IP-connected devices in subscribers’ homes.

“In addition to meeting our needs for HD expansion, BigBand’s SDV solution helps us stay competitive and paves the way for us to support a broader base of connected devices, including PCs, mobile devices, IP set-top boxes and tablets,” said Ken Johnson, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for SureWest.

SureWest has experienced substantial growth in subscriber demand for network capacity. Rapid business and residential subscriber growth led to competition for available bandwidth within SureWest’s network. New uses, such as on demand movies and video streaming, have added to demand. An evaluation of the options led SureWest to BigBand’s SDV solution.

“BigBand’s SDV helps us enhance our network more cost effectively and without disrupting the service quality our customers expect,” added Johnson. “The solution supports our long-term vision of portability, where any content can be delivered to any device both inside and outside the home.”

Following the SDV deployment, SureWest launched 50 additional HD channels in its Kansas City market. It also gave SureWest confidence in its ability to add as many additional new HD channels as it wanted to for the foreseeable future. While taking advantage of the existing RF plant, SDV provides the ability to add incrementally more QAM channels, offering greatly enhanced bandwidth capability for more content and on demand applications. Using SDV, SureWest can:

  • Expand the delivery of any content to any device in the home with virtually no limit to the programming and personalization that can be made available to subscribers.
  • Create a “fat pipe” to support and deliver more interactive applications.
  • Free spectrum for the monetization of new data, interactive and program services.

“We expect to move all of our networks incrementally over time toward broadband technologies that fully exploit optical fiber and other new advances as they emerge. We have shown that in our California networks already. We will manage this migration in a cost effective way while continuing to deliver high quality and choice to our customers,” Johnson added.

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