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

Obama Cool and Connected Program to Use Broadband to Revitalize 10 Appalachian Towns

Ten communities in six Appalachian states will receive technical assistance from an inter-agency Obama administration program aimed at using broadband to revitalize downtown areas.  The Obama Cool and Connected program taps resources within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). ARC is a regional economic...Learn More

New CBRS Alliance to Focus on LTE-Based Indoor, Outdoor Coverage

The CBRS Alliance, announced yesterday, aims to “develop, market and promote” LTE-based offerings in the 3.5 GHz, also known as the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), band. Although much of the talk around the CBRS band has focused on using it to support fixed broadband wireless service, the alliance has a broader view of what...Learn More

Oregon Vineyard, Local Students Benefit from Agricultural IoT Project

A project in rural Oregon illustrates the potential of the Internet of Things in agriculture, as well as providing an example of how technology can motivate students and support new ways of learning. The agricultural IoT project is a collaborative effort involving IBM, wireless ISP OnlineNW, and the local school district in Dayton, Oregon.  The...Learn More

Three FCC Rural Broadband Experiment Awardees Rejected Over Letters of Credit

An FCC order released last week denies petitions from three entities that were provisionally awarded funding in the FCC Rural Broadband Experiment program because the awardees were unable to obtain satisfactory letters of credit — a decision that does not bode well for other provisional awardees that have experienced difficulties obtaining letters of credit meeting...Learn More

FCC Releases Preliminary List of Census Blocks for Connect America Fund Auction

The FCC yesterday released a preliminary list of census blocks eligible for the Connect America Fund auction. That auction will award funding to help cover the cost of bringing service to areas that cannot get broadband today or can only get low-speed broadband. The list released yesterday by the FCC also includes an estimate of...Learn More

Appeals Court Municipal Broadband Decision Bad News for Publicly-Owned Networks

Municipally-owned broadband networks suffered a blow yesterday when a federal appeals court struck down an order adopted by the FCC that reduced state-level restrictions against such networks. In the 25-page appeals court municipal broadband decision, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals argued that the FCC overstepped its authority when it pre-empted state laws in...Learn More

CenturyLink Broadband Roadmap: Funding Shifting From the Cloud

CenturyLink has set a goal of bringing broadband service supporting speeds of at least 40 Mbps to 50% of its base by the end of 2018, said Tony Davis, head of investor relations for CenturyLink, at a financial conference today. Although CenturyLink has done some fiber-to-the-home deployments to support speeds as high as 1 Gbps,...Learn More

Exec: AT&T Fixed Wireless Planned for CAF-Funded Rural Areas

AT&T plans to deploy fixed wireless technology to meet Connect America Fund broadband deployment requirements, said AT&T President of Technology Operations Bill Smith at a financial conference yesterday. The company will use the technology in areas where it is “uneconomical to build wireline” said Smith of AT&T fixed wireless plans in a question and answer...Learn More

Google Fiber Delay Hints at Gigabit Wireless Plans

Google Fiber will delay plans to deploy gigabit fiber-to-the-home in the San Jose, California area, reports local media outlet San Jose Mercury News. The company reportedly is seeking less costly deployment alternatives. Some industry observers speculate that the Google Fiber delay means the company is exploring wireless alternatives for providing high-speed broadband service. That would...Learn More

Oak Hill Sovernet Acquisition to Fuel FirstLight Fiber Expansion

Private equity firm Oak Hill Partners’ plan to acquire Sovernet Communications, announced yesterday, is the latest example of fiber network consolidation. The Oak Hill Sovernet deal calls for Sovernet to be rolled into FirstLight Fiber, another fiber network operator that Oak Hill announced plans to acquire earlier this year. Sovernet operates in parts of Vermont,...Learn More

WOW Gigabit Plans: Four HFC Markets, One FTTH

WOW gigabit service will be coming to five markets before the end of the year – including Huntsville and Auburn, Alabama; Evansville, Indiana; Knoxville, Tennessee and Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. WOW, the Denver-based cable MSO operating in 20 markets across 11 states,  already offers broadband and other services in all of these markets except Grosse...Learn More

Final FCC A-CAM Model Outlines $1 Billion in Annual Rural Broadband Support

Final FCC A-CAM model details were released today, outlining the level of Connect America Fund (CAF) support the FCC is offering small rural rate-of-return (ROR) service providers to help cover the costs of bringing broadband to rural areas where service is not available today. The funding was calculated using an Alternative Connect America Cost Model...Learn More