SUREWEST TO LAUNCH NEW TV SERVICE PROMISING
AN UNPARALLELED VIEWING EXPERIENCE
Microsoft Mediaroom and Network Improvements Extend Video Offerings to
25,000 Homes While Laying Groundwork for Future Technologies
ROSEVILLE, CA – July 28, 2009 – Leading independent communications holding company SureWest Communications (NASDAQ: SURW) today announced it will deploy the award-winning Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol television (IPTV) software platform to deliver an advanced TV service over its existing IP-based fiber-to-the-home and copper networks in the greater Sacramento, CA region.
The innovative television service is expected to be available to new customers by the end of 2009 and, combined with other recent advances in technologies, will enable SureWest to offer enhanced video services to an additional 25,000 marketable 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 2009 and an additional 10,000 by the second quarter of 2010 for a total of 25,000.
Steve Oldham, SureWest’s president and chief executive officer, 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.”
The deployment of Microsoft Mediaroom, with its intuitive on-screen Guide and user interface, will enhance SureWest’s current broadband triple-play offering. Mediaroom supports advanced features like:
• Whole Home Digital Video Recorder (DVR) for watching recorded shows on any TV in the house
• 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 Video On Demand (VOD), lightning-fast channel change and multiview capabilities
• Media-sharing to link photos and music from a PC to the TV
• The ability to offer cutting-edge TV applications that support rich interactivity and seamless blending of Web content and services with broadcast TV
“SureWest has been and continues to be a leader in the deployment of advanced IP-based entertainment services,” said Bill DeMuth, SureWest’s senior vice president and chief technology officer. “The integration of Mediaroom is a natural evolution of our technologies that meets the ever-expanding demands of our customers. Reliability and ease of use have a significant impact on customer satisfaction and retention. We have been testing the Mediaroom-powered service in actual customer environments and it has unequivocally delivered far more impressive results than any of the other options we reviewed.
“The flexibility designed into Mediaroom will best serve the future needs of customers as well. 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.”
“We are pleased that SureWest has selected Microsoft Mediaroom as the software platform to enable its advanced TV service for customers in the Sacramento market,” said Andreas Mueller-Schubert, general manager for the TV, Video & Music Platforms Business at Microsoft. “Mediaroom provides operators of all sizes with a flexible and scalable platform for delivering a world-class IPTV service. In a highly competitive market, Mediaroom enables SureWest to deliver a differentiated TV experience and a more personal and connected alternative to existing TV services.”
SureWest Communications (www.surewest.com) is one of the nation’s leading integrated communications providers and is the bandwidth leader in the markets it serves. Headquartered in Northern California for more than 90 years, the company expanded into the Kansas City region in February 2008 with the acquisition of Everest Broadband, Inc. and offers bundled residential and commercial services that include IP-based digital and high-definition television, high-speed Internet, Voice over IP, and local and long distance telephone. SureWest was the nation’s first provider to launch residential HDTV over an IP network and offers one of the nation’s fastest symmetrical Internet services with speeds of up to 50 Mbps in each direction on its fiber-to-the-home network.
SureWest, Director of Corporate Communications
SureWest, Manager of Corporate Communications