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

Charter/ Bright House Deal: Cable Industry Looks More and More Like Telecom

The cable industry is looking more and more like the telecom industry with Charter Communications’ announcement today that it plans to acquire Bright House Networks. Charter already was positioned to be the nation’s second largest cableco as the result of a pending deal that would put certain Time Warner Cable properties into Charter’s hands whenever...Learn More

FCC Poised to Require Military Users to Share Spectrum with Broadband Providers

The FCC is poised to adopt a spectrum sharing plan that could make 150 MHz of spectrum available for wireless broadband on a nearly nationwide basis. The spectrum lies in the 3550-3700 MHz band currently used by army and navy radar in limited geographic areas, and military users would continue to have priority access to...Learn More

Rural Call Completion Problem Garners More Attention with New Senate Bill

The latest attempt to stop problems with calls not going through to rural areas comes from two U.S. senators, who have introduced the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act. The legislation, introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) would direct the FCC to establish basic quality standards for providers that transmit...Learn More

Akamai: U.S. Average Peak Broadband Speed is Nearly 50 Mbps

The U.S. average peak broadband speed in the fourth quarter of 2014 was 49.4 Mbps according to the latest Akamai State of the Internet report. The U.S. average connection speed was 11.1 Mbps for that period, Akamai said. While average connection speed measures the average amount of data flowing over a broadband connection, the average...Learn More

CEO: Mobile Telemedicine is Focus for MVNO Seniors Wireless

A unique way of differentiating a wireless offering comes from Seniors Wireless, a subsidiary of Australia-based MVNO emveno. The two-part offering launched yesterday combines mobile voice and data service with a telemedicine service operated by emveno called teleMED Assist. TeleMED Assist promises to give customers the ability to speak with a doctor at any time...Learn More

Exec Shares Verizon 100G Metro Plans

Verizon expects eventually to offer 100G wavelength and Carrier Ethernet services based on the 100G metro optical equipment the company today said it plans to deploy. “Both wave and Ethernet services are supported” by the equipment that the company plans to deploy, said Lee Hicks, vice president of Verizon network planning, in an email to...Learn More

Bernstein: Connect America Fund Could Boost Five Carriers’ Annual Revenues by $717 Million by 2020

Phase II of the Connect America Fund, targeted to get underway soon, offers substantial “financial upside” for five of the nation’s largest price cap carriers, according to telecom financial analysts at Bernstein Research. In a research note issued yesterday, Bernstein analysts estimated that the five carriers – AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier and Windstream – could...Learn More

Wireless Stakeholders Defend Against Alleged TV White Spaces Database Flaws

The National Association of Broadcasters last week filed an emergency motion with the FCC to suspend operation of the TV white spaces database because, according to the NAB, the system has “serious design flaws.” But according to the Wireless Innovation Alliance, the NAB has provided no evidence that FCC requirements are not being met or...Learn More

Obama’s Broadband Opportunity Council Aims to Spur Broadband Deployment

President Obama’s latest initiative to expand broadband availability, announced today, is to create a Broadband Opportunity Council charged with determining what various government agencies can do to help spur broadband deployment, competition and adoption. Heading up the effort will be Department of Agriculture Secretary John Vilsack and Commerce Department Secretary Penny Pritzker. The Broadband Opportunity...Learn More

LTE-U and Wi-Fi: What Carriers Need to Know

Some wireless carriers including Verizon have big plans for LTE- Unlicensed (LTE-U), also known as licensed assisted access (LAA). What do network operators need to know about this technology? The most important thing is that the technology uses a combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Initial plans focus on using the same unlicensed spectrum in...Learn More

Smartphone Growth Forecast to Outpace Tablets and PCs

Smartphones will make up a growing share of the global market for smart connected devices (SCDs) over the course of this decade, “dwarfing both tablets and PCs in terms of shipment volumes,” according to a new forecast from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker. PCs continued to dominate smart connected device market shipments...Learn More

WSJ: Sony, HBO, Showtime Want Internet Fast Lanes After All

Just weeks after the FCC adopted new Net Neutrality rules, those rules could soon face their first test. The Wall Street Journal reports today that several content providers planning new subscription video streaming offerings have talked to major broadband providers about having their streaming services treated as “managed services.” Content providers involved in the talks...Learn More