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

AT&T/ DirecTV Deal Approval: Low-Income Broadband and Other Conditions

Just days after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a draft order to approve AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV, the full commission on Friday approved the order and AT&T and DirecTV completed the deal.  As expected, the commission is imposing several conditions on the merger, including a requirement to bring fiber-to-the-premises to 12.5 million customer locations that...Learn More

STB Consolidation Continues with Cisco/ Technicolor $600 Million Deal

As the set-top box market undergoes major technology changes, it also is undergoing major ownership changes, with two important deals occurring this week. Just two days after England-based Amino said it would acquire STB manufacturer Entone Technologies for $73 million, France-based Technicolor said today that it plans to acquire Cisco’s STB business for $600 million....Learn More

Southeastern Regional Carrier PalmettoNet Inks Big Fiber-to-the-Tower Deal

PalmettoNet, a regional fiber network owned by 11 independent telcos, has won a big contract to provide fiber optic connectivity to more than 650 cell towers to be built by a major U.S. operator in PalmettoNet’s North and South Carolina serving territory. PalmettoNet won the deal through an RFP process, noted PalmettoNet Director of Marketing...Learn More

Wheeler’s AT&T/ DirecTV Approval Plan: Any Rural Conditions?

AT&T could be required to submit all of its interconnection agreements, along with regular network performance reports, to the FCC as a condition of FCC approval of the company’s plan to acquire DirecTV in a $48.5 billion deal announced in May 2014. In a statement released late yesterday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he was...Learn More

Administrator Details Kansas Upgrade to AT&T NG911

With AT&T as a key supplier, the state of Kansas has undertaken a major upgrade to its 911 system that could serve as a prototype for the sort of upgrade that 911 administrators nationwide should be considering soon if they aren’t already. “There is an expectation on the part of our citizens that if they...Learn More

CEO: PocketiNet Gigabit Will Overbuild Tier 3 Markets

The latest player to enter the gigabit arena is PocketiNet Communications – and the company isn’t quite like any other service provider that has launched gigabit service. The company operates in Tier 3 markets in the northwest, including its home market of Walla Walla, Washington – but unlike other gigabit providers serving rural areas, it...Learn More

$86 Million in USDA Broadband Loans and Grants Announced

The USDA today announced $85.8 million in broadband grants and loans for broadband infrastructure projects. USDA broadband loans offer low-interest loans to rural network operators. Broadband loans went to five network operators in four states. Two Minnesota companies – Garden Valley Telephone and Consolidated Telephone – will each get loans between $12 and $13 million...Learn More

Zayo/ EAGLE-Net Deal: Are EAGLE-Net Troubles Over?

Colorado intergovernmental entity EAGLE-Net Alliance has entered into a partnership with Zayo Group to oversee and support EAGLE-Net’s statewide fiber network. The agreement is an interim one but according to a press release the companies hope to establish a long-term relationship. Zayo, also based in Colorado, has built and acquired an extensive fiber network nationwide...Learn More

Alianza Exec: Cloud VoIP Gains Speed as Softswitches Reach End of Life

Alianza’s announcement this week that three smaller cable companies will use its cloud-based VoIP offering illustrates a broader trend, said Alianza Vice President of Marketing Kevin Mitchell in an interview. After deploying softswitches and other VoIP equipment five to 10 years ago, or buying service on a wholesale basis from other network operators that have...Learn More

FCC Set to Reject Dish Partner Spectrum Bidding Credits

The FCC is set to reject $3.3 billion in auction credits granted to small companies owned, in part, by Dish Network in the recent AWS-3 auction, the Wall Street Journal reports. The two companies – SNR Wireless and Northstar Wireless – would not be able to simply walk away from their commitment to purchase the...Learn More

FCC Adopts Rural Carrier Bidding Credit for 600 MHz Auction, Delays Other Key Issues

Updated later July 16 As expected, the FCC at today’s monthly meeting adopted a report and order that will give small rural carriers a bidding credit in the upcoming 600 MHz auction of TV broadcast spectrum.  Although the commission did not detail the size of the rural carrier bidding credit at today’s meeting, FCC Chairman...Learn More

Execs Detail EATEL Gigabit Launch

Louisiana-based EATEL is the latest small telco to begin offering gigabit service. Today service is available to about one third of the company’s footprint but “very soon we will have it across the entire network,” said Toby Dubois, EATEL executive president of product management and development, in an interview. EATEL previously deployed FTTH throughout its...Learn More