Surewest Launches VoIP Telephony and IP-based HD PVR

Monday, March 10th, 2008
SureWest logo

SureWest Continues To Enhance Its Broadband Offerings With the Launch Of Digital Phone – A VoIP Product; Communications Leader Also Notes Success of its HD DVR and the Milestone Announcement of its 50th HD Channel

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Leading independent communications holding company SureWest Communications (NASDAQ: SURW) today announced the launch of Digital Phone, its new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) product, and its IP-based multi-stream high definition digital video record (HD DVR). Additionally, on March 9, SureWest added KMAX HD, the 50th HD channel in its HD Life package.

“These new services reinforce SureWest’s position as a national leader in broadband technology, and provide customers in the Sacramento region with additional reasons to make SureWest their communications provider of choice,” said Steve Oldham, SureWest’s president and chief executive officer.

“Digital Phone is a competitively priced and highly reliable voice option that adds to our premier Broadband package. It provides us with a technologically-advanced voice product that allows us to be more flexible with our packages and offers. It also presents a more competitive broadband triple-play option with the inclusion of such features as Find Me/Follow Me, Sequential ringing and Selective Call Screening, in addition to traditional telephone service options.

“We have been testing the HD DVR in the market place since December 2007 and the customer response to this product has far exceeded our expectations, even without a marketing effort behind it. The addition of DVR to our video package also resulted in a considerable increase in the number of subscribers taking our HD Life package in December over the average of the first 11 months of 2007.

“The enhancement of our HD Life package also played a big role in the increased HD subscriber count. With the addition of KMAX HD, on The CW 31, we now have 50 HD channels in our lineup, up from 17 at the beginning of 2007. This HD count is considerably more than our peers, and very competitive with satellite TV products. Importantly, because our video is delivered over an all fiber network that greatly enhances quality and reliability, we have a better quality picture than the competition’s.”

Below are features from each new package:

Multi-Stream HD DVR

  • Among the first IP-based recorders available in the nation, allowing for future IP-based interactive features
  • Record two HD or standard definition (SD) programs at once
  • View up to seven days in advance of Electronic Programming Guide information
  • Dolby Digital 5.1® Surround Sound
  • Fast-forward and rewind at speeds up to 300X

HD Life

  • 50 of the most demanded high definition channels, including HBO, Showtime, Encore, Starz, Cinemax, ESPN, Discovery, TNT, TBS and CNN
  • All local channels in HD like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and The CW
  • At the end of 2007, SureWest HD customers averaged 1.3 HD receivers per home.

Digital Phone

  • Over 22 features all managed online, including Caller ID, Call Waiting with ID, Find Me/Follow Me, Sequential ringing, Simultaneous ringing and Selective Call Screening, which allows customers to choose what numbers can call in
  • 911/E911 and unlimited local and domestic long distance direct-dial calling from home to anywhere in the United States, with competitive international rates
  • Home alarm system compatibility
  • Ability to retain existing telephone numbers when switching from another provider

Oldham continued, “These new products and services round out an amazing triple-play package for customers in the Sacramento region. In addition to offering the fastest Internet speeds in the country at up 50 megabits per second, our phone and TV packages allow us to deliver an unbeatable suite of services that the competition can not match.”