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

Telecom Industry Gets Serious About

At least two North American service providers are very interested in using technology to dramatically boost the bandwidth that can be delivered over existing copper pair phone wiring, according to a source who should have a good handle on this – Lincoln Lavoie, senior engineer for the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab oratory,...Learn More

Could Time Warner Cable’s Phone 2 Go App Stem Landline Cord Cutting?

Time Warner Cable today launched what could be a service provider’s best shot at stemming ongoing landline phone service erosion. But it’s only an option for services providers who, like TWC, have converted their voice lines to VoIP. TWC calls the new offering Phone 2 Go, and it’s a free smartphone or tablet app designed...Learn More

Questions Raised by Plan to Give MVPD Status to OTT Video

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s intention to give Internet video providers MVPD status, revealed yesterday in a blog post, raises a range of questions that are likely to be hotly debated in coming months. In gaining MVPD (for “multichannel video programming distributor”) status, companies that would like to offer cable TV programming over the Internet would...Learn More

Frontier Gigabit Service Launches in Durham, N.C.

Updated After a service provider announces plans for gigabit service for a city, it usually doesn’t take long before another service provider announces plans for ultra-high-speed service, in some cases pre-empting the first announced company by launching service first. An example of this phenomenon came late last week from Durham, N.C., where Frontier has launched...Learn More

Cisco: 13% of North American Cities Have Made Smart City Deployments

Although a relatively small percentage (13.5%) of North American cities have deployed smart city technology, many more are beginning the process, according to research conducted by Cisco Systems. Just over half (51.2%) of municipal executives surveyed said they are reviewing smart city priorities and departmental needs, while 49% have developed long-term visions and roadmaps, 37.6%...Learn More

USDA Broadband Loan and Grant Recipients Announced

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said today that it has awarded $190.5 million in broadband grants and loans to 19 communications service providers for projects in 25 states. The USDA makes low-interest loans to rural telephone companies through the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan program, which was initially established to support construction of and upgrades to voice networks,...Learn More

Small Telco Gigabit Launch from Pinnacle Communications

The latest gigabit network launch comes from Pinnacle Communications, a small telco serving Lavaca, Arkansas. The company several years ago deployed fiber-to-the-home throughout its serving area, which simplified the process of upgrading the network to support gigabit service, explained Pinnacle Communications General Manager John Zeller in an interview. Pinnacle’s upgrade required acquiring additional backbone connectivity...Learn More

Homeland Security Telecom Needs Met by Texas Telco

The opening last year of the Boquillas Crossing between the U.S. and Mexico after a decade-long closure was made possible by fiber optic communications provided by Big Bend Telephone, the rural telco serving the Texas side of the border. The U.S. side of the crossing is now located in a ranger station in Big Bend National...Learn More

Alcatel-Lucent TWDM-PON Targets Converged Services

A new approach to fiber-to-the-premises from Alcatel-Lucent announced today aims to boost capacity to as high as 40 Gbps and to enable the local access network to support multiple services – or even multiple service providers. The offering, dubbed TWDM-PON for “time and wavelength division multiplexed passive optical network,” uses a combination of TDM and...Learn More

Next Century Cities Aims to Share Broadband Best Practices

The Next Century Cities initiative launched yesterday aims to further the availability of high-speed broadband nationwide by collaborating and sharing best practices.  Among the initiative’s 32 “inaugural partners” were several communities that already have scored major high-speed wins, some of whom shared their success stories at a launch event in Santa Monica, California that also...Learn More

Frontier West Virginia Lawsuit Attacks Company’s Broadband Service

Frontier has some big headaches in West Virginia, where it faces a class action lawsuit about its broadband service. A report from local media outlet Charleston Gazette quotes from the lawsuit, which states that Frontier “has a monopoly on Internet services in most of West Virginia” and is the only broadband provider in many rural...Learn More

NTIA: Broadband Usage at Home Climbs to 72%, Non-Adopters Say Why

Nearly three –quarters (72%) of U.S. households used broadband at home as of October 2012, according to a report released last week by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). That was an increase of three percentage points from 2011. The NTIA also looked at reasons why the 28% of U.S. households without broadband were...Learn More