Posts by Joan Engebretson

Joan Engebretson is Executive Editor of Telecompetitor. Joan has been writing about telecommunications since 1992. She has been editor-in-chief of two telecom industry publications—Telephony Magazine and America’s Network Magazine.

Under Engebretson’s leadership, America’s Network won several awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, including a 2001 national gold award for her commentary. In 2009, she won best on-line column in min’s Editorial and Design Awards.

Engebretson has a BA in journalism and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Joan can be reached at

Missouri Electric-Telco Partnership Plans Gigabit Broadband

A  Missouri-based telecom cooperative and a neighboring electric cooperative are combining resources to bring fiber-to-the-home service supporting speeds up to 1 Gbps to communities in their area that currently can’t get high-speed broadband. The electric company is Callaway Electric Service Company, L.L.C., a subsidiary of Callaway Electric Cooperative, and the telco is Kingdom Telephone Cooperative....Learn More

ViaSat-3 100 Mbps Satellite Broadband Planned for 2019 Delivery

With promised 100 Mbps satellite broadband capability, ViaSat expects to deliver a major boost in broadband performance from its next generation of satellites, scheduled for “integration and delivery” in 2019. The satellites are targeted to provide residential service at speeds of 100 Mbps or higher and to support 4K ultra-high definition video streaming. ViaSat also...Learn More

AT&T/ Nokia Utility IoT Offering to Rely on Dedicated Spectrum

A new AT&T/ Nokia utility IoT offering aims to address the key issue that utility companies have had with purchasing wireless connectivity from wireless service providers, explained Mike Troiano, vice president of industrial IoT for AT&T, in an interview. Utilities are seeking two-way wireless communications networks to support smart grid initiatives. But as Troiano explained,...Learn More

Municipal Broadband M&A: Sunset Digital to Buy BVU OptiNet

In what could be an emerging trend of municipal broadband M&A activity, one of the nation’s earliest municipal broadband networks is set to be sold. Duffield, Virginia-based Sunset Digital Communications announced last week that it will purchase the OptiNet Division of Bristol Virginia Utilities Authority, which operates a broadband network in Bristol, Virginia. In an...Learn More

NTIA Updates $4 Billion Broadband Stimulus Program Results

The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) is winding towards a close, according to the latest quarterly update from NTIA, which highlights broadband stimulus program results. The report dated October 2015 but only released publicly last week, provides a summary of what the BTOP program had accomplished as of June 2015. In 2009 and 2010, the...Learn More

Nokia FastMile Jumps on Rural Broadband Wireless Bandwagon

Although service providers and developers haven’t made much fanfare about it, there has been a lot of activity in the rural broadband wireless area lately, with the Nokia FastMile solution as the latest example. Some see broadband wireless as a serious contender technology as the U.S. struggles with how to make broadband available to all...Learn More

Bi-Partisan Congressional Rural Broadband Caucus Wants to Bridge Digital Divide

A bi-partisan Congressional Rural Broadband Caucus plans to focus on bridging the rural-urban digital divide. According to press material, the group will “facilitate discussion, educate Members of Congress and staff and develop policy solutions.” Four Congressmen will serve as co-chairmen, including Kevin Cramer (R- N.D.), Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), and Peter Welch (D-Vermont)....Learn More

Utility Company Broadband: Midwest Energy Exec Shares Perils and Success Stories

Smaller rural power companies are a lot like small rural telcos in that they tend to be heavily vested in their local communities. If residents are clamoring for faster Internet, the local power company or telco generally will try hard to get it for them. One power company that has worked hard to bring high-speed...Learn More

600 MHz Could Support a Comcast Wi-Fi First Mobile Service; Will It?

News that Comcast may bid  in the upcoming 600 MHz auction illustrates an important decision that all cable companies now face, and it’s a classic telecom question – whether to buy or to build. After dabbling with various wireless strategies in the past, the cablecos’ answer has always been “neither.” But with mobile video viewing...Learn More

Infiniti Broadband to Bring Broadband Wireless to 10 Markets

Oklahoma-based startup company Infiniti Broadband plans to bring broadband wireless to rural and medium-size metro areas, initially targeting 10 undisclosed markets, said Johnie Johnson, president and CEO of the company, in an interview.  “Our business model is founded on filling a void,” said Johnson, noting that Infiniti will target areas currently lacking high-speed broadband. Some...Learn More

Commissioners Argue FCC Broadband Speed Definition, CAF Plans

As expected, this year’s Broadband Progress Report from the FCC will state that broadband is not being deployed in a timely fashion. As adopted at today’s monthly FCC meeting, the report also notes a widening rural/urban disparity in available broadband speeds, said FCC officials at the meeting. Rural residents today are 10 times more likely...Learn More

Minnesota’s CNS Joins 100 Gbps Rural Network Club

As more and more companies launch ultra-high-speed services supporting gigabit speeds, they also need more backbone network bandwidth, as an announcement this week from Cooperative Network Services illustrates. CNS, owned by a group of communications service provider cooperatives in Minnesota, has upgraded its backbone to support services at speeds of up to 100 Gbps. One broadband...Learn More