SureWest name disappearing

SureWest Communications disappeared as an independent company a little more than a year ago. Soon the name itself will disappear, too.

The Roseville telecommunications company is informing customers that its name will be changed in the coming months to Consolidated Communications, the company that bought SureWest last year.

In a message on its website, SureWest said the name change is being implemented “to better operate as one united company with one vision to customers, shareholders, investors, partners and employees.”

To minimize disruption, current customers of SureWest’s Internet service will be allowed to keep their SureWest email addresses. Starting next year, new customers will be assigned “mycci.net” email addresses.

SureWest, which serves about 280,000 customers in greater Sacramento and Kansas City, was sold last year to Consolidated, a communications conglomerate based in Illinois. The $340.9 million takeover culminated years of soul-searching as SureWest grappled with the rising costs stemming from its decision to add Internet and cable-TV service to its telephone offerings. The purchase was completed in July 2012.

The name change will be phased in over the next few months. Both companies’ names will appear on printed materials distributed to customers and others “until the SureWest name and logo are discontinued entirely in mid-2014,” according to the SureWest website. Consolidated spokeswoman Laura ZuHone said the name change could take effect as early as the first quarter of next year.

“Unlike some mergers and acquisitions where name changes happen immediately, we took our time before making the decision to change the name,” the company added. “SureWest has strong brand equity due to a long history of advanced products and outstanding, local customer service. We took our time to talk with employees, customers and other stakeholders before making a decision.”

The company was founded as Roseville Telephone 96 years ago. It became Roseville Communications in 1986 and SureWest in 2000.