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

Verizon Connected Car App Hum is One Example of Diverse Wireless Carrier IoT Strategy

The Verizon connected car expansion announced yesterday illustrates the importance of the Internet of Things to wireless carriers. Verizon added a premium version of its aftermarket connected car line, dubbed Hum, and launched a free Hum app that could help spur future sales of the monthly service. The news comes at a time when some...Learn More

CenturyLink Execs: Central Office Virtualization Begins with DSL Delivery

CenturyLink has big plans for central office virtualization, and the first place the company is implementing those plans involves DSL service delivery, as news announced today illustrates. The company said it was the first carrier to use its own virtualized broadband network gateway (vBNG) based on central office re-architected as a datacenter (CORD) concepts. As...Learn More

Eying an Opening, CenturyLink and Frontier Seek Regulatory Relief for Business Data Services

CenturyLink and Frontier apparently see the current FCC administration as potentially sympathetic to their concerns about business data services regulation. In a letter filed with the FCC yesterday, the carriers asked the commission to grant them non-dominant business data service status, arguing that they do not dominate that market because they have ample competition. The...Learn More

West Virginia Broadband Bill Aims to Spark Competition, Encouraging Community Broadband and Co-Ops

A West Virginia Broadband Bill introduced in the state house of representatives aims to spur broadband competition and deployment by allowing local communities to form cooperatives to build broadband networks. House Bill 3093 also would re-establish a state broadband enhancement council charged with collecting data about internet speeds, seeking and dispensing non-state funding and grants,...Learn More

Software Defined Capacity Aims to Make Optical Networks More Flexible

Manufacturers continue to find novel ways of helping carriers operate their networks more efficiently, as news today from Infinera illustrates. The optical networking company launched what it is calling Infinera Instant Network, which as Infinera executive Mark Showalter explained, gives carriers the ability to “activate capacity before they pay for it, match cost to revenue,...Learn More

Report Reinforces 5G Fiber Backhaul Opportunity for Fiber Network Operators

The importance of 5G fiber backhaul far outranks other backhaul options including copper, microwave, freespace optics and millimeter wave technologies, according to a report from the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). All operators surveyed said fiber was important for 5G backhaul, including 83% who said it was “very important.” The report underscores what industry observers have...Learn More

FCC Chairman Pai: Any Infrastructure Bill Should Include Broadband Funding via USF

As rural telcos face a shortfall of as much as $2.1 billion in the Universal Service program, the solution may involve tapping a funding source that is common for other government initiatives but not for telecom: Congress is considering an infrastructure bill that could include broadband funding. And as comments made by FCC Chairman Ajit...Learn More

ACA & NTCA Call Foul on Charter Overbuild Conditions for One Million Broadband Locations

The American Cable Association (ACA) and NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association are not giving up on their opposition to an FCC decision last year that calls for Charter to overbuild one million locations that already have broadband service available to them at speeds of at least 25 Mbps. The decision was made as a...Learn More

AT&T Hello Lab Moves Highlight Continued Telco Push into Content Business

Although there are skeptics, major telecom service providers appear undaunted in their pursuit of opportunities to create content for non-traditional outlets, including over-the-top video offerings, mobile and social media. The latest move involving telcos in the content business comes from AT&T, which announced plans today for its second year of AT&T Hello Lab multi-platform content....Learn More

Adtran: Connect America Fund Broadband Technologies Will Be a Mixed Bag

Telcos are likely to use a mixture of technologies — including fixed wireless, copper bonding and vectoring – to meet deployment requirements of phase two of the Connect America Fund (CAF), said Kurt Raaflaub, head of strategic solutions marketing for broadband equipment supplier Adtran, in an interview. While fiber-to-the-home would be the most future-proof broadband...Learn More

FCC Mobility Fund Plans Call For Two Year CETC Support Phase-out

Wireless carriers, known as competitive eligible telecommunications carriers (CETCs), who currently receive Universal Service funding in areas that will no longer be eligible for support will have that funding phased out over a two-year period beginning one month after completion of an upcoming mobility fund reverse auction. Details about the CETC support phase-out are included...Learn More

Akamai: Average U.S. Broadband Speed Hits 17.2 Mbps, But Only 42% Have Speeds Above 15 Mbps

The average U.S. broadband speed connection was 17.2 Mbps in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the latest Akamai “State of the Internet” report, released today. That was an increase of 5.5% over the previous quarter and a 21% increase year over year. Nearly 90% of U.S. broadband users (88%) connected at average speeds...Learn More