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SureWest Communications in Northern California is rolling out IP HDTV functionality for their fiber-optic subscribers. They claim that they'll be "the first broadband provider in the nation to deliver commercial HD programming with the technology known as Internet Protocol," which is a rather silly statement, given Verizon's current IP HD entry in the market, and since Verizon does video on demand—a reflection of the future of IPTV. SureWest claims to have the goods because they can get more mainstream programming with their more traditional technology, but right now they're 5 channels short of Verizon. No matter what, it's still hard to complain about 15 HD channels delivered nice and fresh via fiber-optic pipes. They're starting trials Tuesday and hoping to go hog wild in November, offering this to their 80,000+ subscribers.

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HD IPTV via fiber-optics coming to Northern California