SureWest Communications has begun what it describes as the first delivery of high definition television (HDTV) over an IP network.
The company has linked more than 80,000 Northern California homes to a fiber-optic network, and plans to deliver 260 video and music channels, as well as voice and broadband Internet access. Fifteen of the TV channels will be high-definition.
The pilot, which begins today, is the first step in what will be SureWest's full-scale commercial deployment of HDTV over IP in November. The service will be carried over SureWest's fiber to the premises (FTTP) network. According to company vice president and chief technology officer Bill DeMuth, HDTV is only the latest in a series of services SureWest hopes to deliver over its FTTP network.
"Using IP technology over our fiber-optic network offers the potential for increased clarity to the HD experience and will allow SureWest to offer a variety of emerging video products, while maintaining the area's fastest high-speed Internet service," DeMuth said in a statement. "The IP FTTP service delivery model provides flexibility and abundant cost-effective bandwidth to deliver voice and data services, as well as a host of interactive television capabilities with IPTV."
Built on Cisco Catalyst 6500 and 4900 series switches, SureWest's FTTP network provides customers with 10 Mbps of both downstream and upstream bandwidth. Customers have the option of upgrading their service to 20 Mbps.