SureWest Communications is set to deploy the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV software platform over its existing IP-based fiber-to-the-home and copper networks in its greater Sacramento, Calif., region.
The IPTV service is expected to be available to new customers by the end of 2009 and will enable SureWest to offer enhanced video services to an additional 25,000 homes that currently receive only the company's telephone and high-speed Internet services. SureWest will reach 15,000 additional homes with video services in December, and an additional 10,000 by the second quarter of 2010 – for a total of 25,000.
Steve Oldham, SureWest's president and CEO, said: "These technological advances are very beneficial to our customers because they will allow us to offer a vastly superior TV service at a very low cost. This decision reinforces our long-held strategy of growing revenues and cash flows associated with our existing network."
Mediaroom supports advanced features, including:
- Whole-home DVR
- The ability to watch and record up to four channels at one time
- Third-party applications such as DVR remote scheduling and Caller ID on TV
- HD VOD, lightning-fast channel change and multi-view capabilities
- Media-sharing to link photos and music from a PC to the TV
- The ability to offer cutting-edge TV applications that support interactivity and the blending of Web content and services with broadcast TV
"The flexibility designed into Mediaroom will best serve the future needs of customers, as well,” said Bill DeMuth, SureWest's senior vice president and chief technology officer. “The technology allows us to provide services in new ways that will further blur the lines between traditional TV, Internet and telephone. By combining Mediaroom with our best-in-class network, SureWest is once again raising the bar and delivering an unrivaled experience to our customers."
Last month, SureWest dialed in a Caller ID on TV service  in its Sacramento-area footprint. The service is free of charge for SureWest’s triple-play subscribers and $9.99 per month for other “qualifying customers.”
In April, also in its Sacramento region, SureWest launched a singular video service  using the interactive video content network created by TellyTopia. Anyone, including non-SureWest customers, can upload high-resolution video content through SureWest’s i2TV Web site and watch it on SureWest’s channel 702.