SureWest has dropped BigBand Networks' switched digital video platform into its Kansas City system in order to free up bandwidth for more HD channels and pave the way for IPTV services.

SureWest opted for the switched digital video (SDV) route for bandwidth reclamation instead of digital terminal adapters (DTAs).

"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.

After implementing BigBand's SDV platform, SureWest added 50 additional HD channels in its Kansas City market.

"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 said.

BigBand was a pioneer in SDV with its first deployment with Time Warner Cable in 2004. Since then, some cable operators, namely Comcast, have elected to use DTAs to reclaim bandwidth, but they may end up using SDV, as well, down the road as they transition to IP networks.

"By selecting SDV, SureWest has made a cost-effective investment in its multi-screen future," said Rajive Dhar, senior vice president for corporate development and strategic planning at BigBand Networks. "SDV bridges the gap to IP – today."

Last month, Arris announced it was acquiring BigBand Networks for $172 million in cash.