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Hustlin' Husman

2:00 PM – From The Philter's Big Bandwidth file, SureWest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW) customer Jim Husman is taking a big drink from the firehose these days. Here's a shortened version of this week's press release, with my comments throughout:

Husman was the first person to sign up for the fastest residential Internet speed in the country -- SureWest Communications’ (NASDAQ: SURW) Internet product of up to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) of synchronous hyper-speed. Launched in December 2006 over SureWest’s fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) platform, which reaches nearly 100,000 marketable homes in the greater Sacramento, CA region, it is the only service in the United States that delivers 50 Mbps of residential Internet speed both uploading and downloading.

Greater Sacramento. Really. Greater than… what?

Upon hearing online rumors about SureWest’s 50-meg launch, the 24-year-old Web designer gave SureWest a call to upgrade his previous service, which was the company’s synchronous 20-meg Internet product. Husman was installed last month and now his speed tests repeatedly surpass 50 Mbps both up and downstream.

Did he hear the online rumors or read them? Sorry. I'm an editor. It's a sickness.

“Finally, someone understands what consumers want,” says Husman. “Everybody should provide fast speeds like this, especially from an upload standpoint. It’s being demanded by people all over Internet message boards. Let’s just say there are a lot of jealous people out there who envy my Internet speed. It’s great being the first in the country with this speed, but I look at it as SureWest’s crowning achievement, not mine. I’m just elated that they are offering it.”

What consumers want is 6 Mbit/s. That's what AT&T says and that's what it allows for U-verse and I believe them because they're always right. Except when they got into cable. And that video phone thing. And Project Pronto. And the Concert joint venture with BT. But, other than that…

Oh, wanna see something funny? The local news video coverage of Husman's big 'ol pipe is preceded by an AT&T commercial smacking down cable for being overpriced and light on bandwidth. Good times.
SureWest is able to offer this unmatched Internet speed by delivering 100 Mbps of bi-directional bandwidth to each customer’s home on its FTTP platform, leaving room to bundle video and voice services as well. With over 190,000 total marketable homes over its combined copper and fiber Broadband networks, SureWest can offer the 50-meg product to 52 percent of its Broadband service territory.

Translation: About 98,800 people will even sniff the opportunity to go that fast on the Internet.

Living with his fiancée and her sister, Husman’s household utilizes three computers and two laptops, all on the SureWest network, bundled with SureWest’s Digital Choice TV package...

Translation: Jim's DVR may have a lot of Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty on it, but he gets the PC all to himself.

Other early adopters are following Husman’s lead, as over a handful of consumers have subscribed to SureWest’s 50 Mbps service, which is valued at $259.95 per month.

At $260 a month, that sounds expensive. But it's a way better deal than I would have guessed.

Jim, you'll make a great neighbor. I'm calling my realtor now.

— Phil Harvey, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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