Sunflower Broadband earns industry honors

June 23, 2007


Sunflower Broadband's rapid implementation and achievements in on-demand television advertising have led to industry recognition at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers' Cable-Tec Expo 2007 in Orlando, Fla.

The Lawrence-based independent cable television operator broke new ground in advertising in June 2006 when it launched the world's first dynamic advertising insertion process, allowing advertisers more tailored targeting options.

Since then, Sunflower's adoption of next-generation advertising technology has dramatically increased the company's local ad revenues and client base, while selling out the entire ad inventory for some video-on-demand (VOD) content categories.

In honor of this breakthrough, Patrick Knorr, Sunflower's general manager, was named winner of CED Magazine's Pacesetter Award in the on-demand advertising category. Stephen Schneider, Sunflower's director of technical operations, accepted the award on Knorr's behalf from SeaChange International's Terri Swartz on Thursday.

"Patrick has been an agent of change and opportunity thanks to his aggressive investigation of, and commitment to, new technologies," said Dolph C. Simons Jr., chairman of The World Company, which owns Sunflower and the Journal-World. "Clearly, he's broken new ground in advertising before anyone else in the television industry, and we're extremely proud of his leadership."

Today, most advertising in VOD is produced directly into VOD programming and tied to a specific piece of content for its entire run, which ultimately requires advertisers to submit generic copy that can run for several weeks. SeaChange AdPulse, however, enables insertion of ads into VOD content at the edge, when the content is played.

CED's Pacesetter Awards recognize individuals at cable and other broadband service providers who have taken leading positions or innovative first steps with advanced services, applications and technologies.

Sunflower Broadband serves 31,000 subscribers in Lawrence and several other communities in northeast Kansas, providing cable-television programming and advanced video, data and voice services.


inatux 10 years, 11 months ago

Interrupted internet, outages and bad customer service is a feature now? Well, congrats!

maxcrabb 10 years, 11 months ago

Comcast has Hi-def on demand. Sunflower does not.

Do they get a medal for that?

erod0723 10 years, 11 months ago

Sunflowers internet division is truly the worst internet one can by. Sunflower is the only communications company that limits the amount of data that can be downloaded and uploaded through its internet service. The base internet allows one only 512mb of download/upload. This is completely off par with the rest of the ISP's in this country. That's why I switched to At&t dsl. I hate att, but they give me cheaper prices, and do not limit my downloading or uploading.

Ragingbear 10 years, 11 months ago

How interesting. I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV.

compmd 10 years, 11 months ago

and the sunflower bashing begins.

there are dozens if not hundreds of isps that have bandwidth caps. in fact, there was recently an issue where verizon claimed "unlimited" internet that it did not provide. your beloved att is guilty as well, with a strong desire to engage in traffic filtering, violating network neutrality.

Do you even know how the sunflower docsis system was implemented? do you know how many people were involved? sunflower is not a huge operation, remembr that. they aren't comcast or timewarner, and they can't be.

Believe me, I am no fan of sunflower, and I am not defending them, but don't make an attack on a company's technical shortcomings without understanding the technology.

Ragingbear 10 years, 11 months ago

I have dealt with many different ISP's. From old dial-up to DSL to Cable. I have found that Sunflower, while it does have faults, is the best I have ever dealt with.

Sometimes my internet pops out for short periods, usually at some bizzare hour like 4am. Being that it is usually out for only 10 seconds, it's not a big deal unless I am playing an online game. During the last 2 years, I have had perhaps 4 incidents like that. AT&T, Comcast and most other ISP's usually average closer to 50. Their little pops are much longer and tend to happen during prime usage hours. Most of our little hiccups we get at 4am are due to maintenance and server upgrades, maintenance and repair.

I have NEVER had a problem with customer service. I recently considered upgrading from a digital box to a DVR. I expressed reservations about it and got a free month. Another time there was a major repair going on at a junction station near my house, thus disrupting service. After complaining, I got a free month of their Silver internet package.

Ragingbear 10 years, 11 months ago

Maxxcrab, Sunflower on demand does offer HD on demand. You need an HD tuner. Although I think it's funny that your TV will be obsolete in 2 years because they keep changing the format that HDTV's will run under. Not Sunflower, the industry. Sunflower Broadband does offer an HD tuner.

I have had many people wave around the limit on upload/downloads, as well as the limits on upload/download speeds. Most people have no clue how this works. When you connect to a website and download a video,file,program or whatever, it is not how fast that your connecting to the Internet, but how well the server your connecting to is connected. Some people in a desperate bid to cut cost will overload their Internet connections causing it to bog down. You can have a connection of a Billion gb a second and won't really see any change in your surfing experience.

I agree that the download limit is a bit of a hassle. What many ISP's (Including the AT&T-NSA company) do not tell you is that you are limited with every ISP, with fines and fees attached to going over. You might want to pull out your bill or contract and read the fine print. Unlimited is usually put as "Unlimited" or Unlimited*, meaning that it has a context and limit. I ran into this once when I had a single line running into 5 household computers.

I personally find that it is difficult to go over the limit on a single PC. That is unless your downloading large amounts of videos or large files (like pirated software). With my experiences, knowing that this is a local company (thus my bills are good for local economy), and finding more than satisfactory service with them, I find that the slightly higher cost is well worth not having my activities tracked by AT&T and given to the NSA. Not that I got something to hide, but it's the principle.

Do what you will. But if you go with AT&T, the corporate giant of the phone system that is once again establishing a monopoly by consuming all competition, then stop whining about Wal-Mart doing the same. Because that is exactly what your doing, giving business to them to encourage the same activity.

By the way, that 512mb package is for people that ONLY need to do things like read email and pay bills online. Anyone that does any actual surfing will quickly find that that is not for them. But it is nice to know that certain people have access they need without losing their life into it like myself.

CompMD beat me to it. His/her comment was not there when I began ranting.

erod0723 10 years, 11 months ago

"your beloved att is guilty as well, with a strong desire to engage in traffic filtering, violating network neutrality." To set things straight, I hate At&t. They were just the lesser of the evil and offered cheaper prices without bandwidth caps. I think it is the nature of the beast to hate your communications provider. They all suck. I visited Japan a few years back, and their system makes so much more sense. People are not locked into contracts with phones, and cable and internet are government regulated, so that fair prices and usage are ensured.

Ragingbear 10 years, 11 months ago

Costing less money does not equal to being the lesser of two evils. Typically in life, it means the opposite.

The only reason I have AT&T is because they were the ones that set up the phones in my apartment. They place locks on the connection boxes that Sunflower would need to access in order to provide phone service. This would result in setting up an appointment of "sometime next week" with the cable guy meeting them. The cost of that alone, all that dead-time is unreal.

erod0723 10 years, 11 months ago

How bout I say I didn't choose Sunflower because of their rediculous ads. They are almost as bad as Spangles.

compmd 10 years, 11 months ago

ragingbear, excellent post. it doesn't matter which of us went off first, it is important that the topics of net neutrality, bandwidth oversubscription, and redefining the word unlimited are discussed. sunflower has done well with the first and third items there, but the second item needs to be looked at.

javery 10 years, 11 months ago

I recently moved away from Lawrence and now have Comcast, because it's the only cable Internet provider here. I miss Sunflower like crazy. I asked Comcast when I signed up about the bandwidth limit. They said that it is not ulimited, that there is obviously a limit, but that they couldn't tell me what it was. Also, it took them 3-4 days to get around to turning on service. With Sunflower, it took about 10 minutes. Then, contrary to what they had told me before, they made me install some software (which I have since removed), so that they could figure out what physical address belonged to me. I protested this as unnecessary to their tech support people, but they were idiots without any clue about the technology they are using. Although you tended to have to wait on hold a good bit for tech support from Sunflower, the tech support was extremely competent and didn't treat me like an idiot.

Now I'm also stuck spending $15 more a month for the same speed of cable Internet, which is Comcast's fastest (6 MBPS), while for only $5 more, if I were still in Lawrence, I could get a connection that is over 3 times faster (20 MBPS).

I know people just like to complain, and that Sunflower occasionally has blips in service, but seriously folks, comparatively, it's a great ISP.

Ragingbear 10 years, 11 months ago

They are low budget commercials. No, they are not as irritating as Spangles, not by a long shot. Sunflower doesn't spend all that stupid money on idiotic BS when it can be better used for quality of service.

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