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, which recently changed its name to Connected Planet, and America’s Network Magazine, which ceased publication in 2006.

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

Net Neutrality Debate: FCC Says It Wants to Re-Instate Open Internet Rules, Not Reverse Them

The Net Neutrality debate is heating up once again. What was reported by numerous news media yesterday as a move by the FCC away from the Open Internet  is actually quite the opposite, said senior FCC officials on a conference call with reporters this morning. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated a draft of a...Learn More

USF Reform: Goodbye Quintile Regression, Hello (Maybe) a 10 Mbps Target Speed

Small rural telecom network operators got several pieces of good news from the FCC today. At today’s monthly meeting, the commission reversed the quintile regression analysis benchmarks that reduced Universal Service Fund support for some of those carriers. The commission also said it would allow the small rate of return carriers to receive USF support...Learn More

Akamai: Average U.S. Broadband Speed Hits 10 Mbps Milestone

The average U.S. broadband connection speed set a new record in the fourth quarter of 2013, reaching a milestone rate of 10 Mbps, according to the latest Akamai State of the Internet report released today. That was an increase of 2% over the previous quarter, when the average connection rate was 9.8 Mbps, and a...Learn More

AT&T/ Chernin Group Deal: Another Take on OTT Video Monetization

AT&T is trying a new approach toward the over-the-top video opportunity, announcing today that it has created a joint venture with media company The Chernin Group to focus on OTT video. The companies said they would jointly invest $500 million in the venture with the goal of “investing in advertising and subscription VOD channels as...Learn More

Cellcom CEO Details M2M Connectivity Deal for Diabetes Management

Tier 3 wireless carrier Cellcom has come up with a promising new revenue source – providing cellular connectivity for blood glucose meters from Telcare used by people with diabetes. “Cellcom will receive revenue from Telcare that is variable based on the amount of data consumed by the meter,” said Cellcom president and CEO Patrick D....Learn More

AT&T Considers 100 More Cities for Gigabit Networks

AT&T said today that it is considering bringing broadband at speeds up to a gigabit per second to as many as 100 additional cities in 21 metro areas.  These upgrades would be in addition to previously announced plans for Austin, Dallas, Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem. To support the high-speed service, dubbed GigaPower, AT&T would need to...Learn More

600 MHz Auction Plan Recommends PEAs, Paired Spectrum

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler late last week gave the other FCC commissioners a draft of rules that would govern the upcoming incentive auction of TV broadcast spectrum, which will be re-purposed for mobile broadband. Wheeler said the rules were created with rural areas in mind. In addition to limiting the ability of the nation’s largest...Learn More

Broadcast Spectrum Auction Plan Floated, Details Band Plan

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler envisions offering two classes of licenses in the upcoming auction of TV broadcast spectrum, reports technology news website Re/code. These would include restricted and unrestricted licenses, with restricted licenses reserved for “companies that don’t currently hold a lot of nearby airwaves,” Re/code says. In referencing “nearby airwaves,” the author likely is...Learn More

Three Men Indicted for Lifeline Program Abuse

The Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to crack down on abusers of the Universal Service low-income Lifeline program seem to be paying off. Late last week the FCC, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice announced that three Florida men who operated several wireless phone companies have been indicted...Learn More

T-Mobile Gets in Competitors’ Faces with End to Overage Charges

T-Mobile today capped off its promised three days of market-disruptive announcements with the news that the company will eliminate overage charges for customers on all T-Mobile plans, extending an offering the company previously made only on certain plans. A T-Mobile spokesman said customers will effectively get unlimited domestic voice and text. On the data side,...Learn More

AT&T Gigabit Broadband Likely Coming to North Carolina

AT&T took the unusual step late last night of announcing that it is “in advanced discussions” to bring a gigabit network to parts of the Triangle and Piedmont Triad regions of North Carolina. Normally companies like AT&T wait until a deal is iron-clad before announcing it. The unusual announcement illustrates just how competitive the gigabit...Learn More

NTCA Report Quantifies Broadband Benefits, Adoption Challenges

Three in 10 U.S. adults do not use the Internet at home – and getting them online will be considerably more challenging than connecting the first seven, notes a paper released this week from NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association. But the effort would be worthwhile, argues author and NTCA economist Rick Schadelbauer in the...Learn More