SureWest, based in Roseville, California, has always been somewhat of a pioneer. They were an early adopter of IPTV and were an early rider of the current FTTH wave. Following in that tradition, SureWest is  now an early adopter of switched digital video (SDV) for their cable/RF assets in their Kansas City market.

SureWest entered the Kansas City market in 2008 through an acquisition of Everest Broadband. They’ve since been upgrading Everest’s network, including FTTH upgrades in some areas.

By moving to SDV technology, they are freeing up precious bandwidth on their cable/RF network for more HD (and 3D), VOD, and broadband access capability. SDV, long used on IPTV platforms, allows cable operators to move away from the practice of broadcasting every television channel to every subscriber all the time, which is a bandwidth hogging practice. Instead, SDV delivers only the channels being requested by individual subscribers at any given moment. The bandwidth savings for an operator are tremendous.

“SDV will allow us to quickly regain RF spectrum that can then be reallocated to support high bandwidth applications such as HD and 3D programming as well as DOCSIS(R) 3.0. This should help us to execute our competitive strategy and quickly respond to market demands,” said Ken Johnson, SureWest’s Vice President and General Manager of Operations in Kansas in a press release.

SureWest selected BigBand for this SDV deployment. According to BigBand, “SureWest also has plans to leverage future capabilities of the SDV architecture for delivery of cost-effective, next-generation IP-video services.” Translation – SureWest may be planning to transition to IP video for their legacy cable network. It’s a move many cable companies are pondering.

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