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

Telco Growth Opportunity: CenturyLink Launches SD-WAN Service

SD-WAN service is a hot area for enterprise customers. And as CenturyLink’s recent SD-WAN service launch reveals, it could be a substantial telco growth opportunity. Research firm IDC forecasts the SD-WAN service market to reach approximately $6 billion annually by 2020. Nearly 70% of organizations expect to use SD-WAN in the next 18 months, IDC...Learn More

Massachusetts Dispute Illustrates Challenges of Reaching Underserved Broadband Areas

A dispute in Massachusetts illustrates the challenges that decision makers face in determining the best option for bringing service to underserved broadband areas. In this case decision makers must weigh a range of factors in determining whether Comcast or competitive network operator Matrix Design Group should be awarded funding to help cover some of the...Learn More

Verizon, Incompas Business Data Services Filing Reveals Wide Rift with AT&T, Other ILECs

Updated later on June 28 with new information from USTelecom Some stakeholders may have been surprised several weeks ago when Verizon acted independently of AT&T and other major telecom providers with regard to business data services, instead making a joint filing with competitive carrier association Incompas. But a new Verizon, Incompas filing yesterday reveals a...Learn More

FCC Changes Direction on 5G License Areas

The FCC on Friday released additional details on proposed plans to open up an unprecedented amount of spectrum for 5G wireless networks.  The commission expects to vote next month on the plans, which are quite similar to what was proposed late last year, except with regard to the size of spectrum blocks to be auctioned...Learn More

CAF II Winners Eyeing DSL Rings to Boost Copper Bandwidth

Seven winners of Connect America Funding, including some of the largest U.S. carriers, are exploring DSL Rings technology developed by Genesis Technical Systems as a means of boosting the bandwidth of installed copper telephone wiring. Genesis has spearheaded the creation of an industry group, to be known as the Residential Access Carrier Consortium, in support...Learn More

Altice Cablevision Purchase Completed; Investment Plans Include New CPE, WiFi

Cable industry consolidation continues with the Altice Cablevision purchase completed yesterday. The news comes just weeks after completion of a deal that made Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks part of Charter Communications. Altice is now the fourth largest U.S. cable operator, having previously acquired Suddenlink Communications. Investment Plans Post Altice Cablevision Purchase In...Learn More

GCI Broadband Wireless Brings Social Benefits to Remote Areas of Alaska

Residents have seen higher high school graduation rates and improved healthcare since GCI broadband wireless came to remote areas of western Alaska, said GCI Executive Vice President Greg Chapados yesterday. Chapados made his comments at an event in Anchorage, where plans were announced to deploy broadband wireless in 10 more communities in 2016. That will...Learn More

Investors React Positively to $230 Million CSAL Tower Cloud Purchase

The $230 million CSAL Tower Cloud purchase announced yesterday should enhance CSAL’s focus on dark fiber and on providing backhaul for cellular, and in particular, small cell networks. And the investment community seems to approve, judging by the value of CSAL’s stock since the announcement. Communications Sales & Leasing (CSAL) was spun off from Windstream...Learn More

Wheeler Wants 200-MHz or Wider Blocks for 5G Spectrum Frontiers Proceeding

The FCC will vote in mid-July on a 5G Spectrum Frontiers proceeding aimed at opening up huge amounts of spectrum for fifth-generation wireless services, said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today. “If the Commission approves my proposal next month, the United Sates will be the first country in the world to open up high-band spectrum for...Learn More

Carriers Seek Reversal of Business Data Services Regulation, Citing Flawed Analysis

Six of the nation’s largest telecom service providers are seeking big changes to the current plans for FCC business data services regulation. At issue is the huge volume of data on which the FCC based its plans and which the carriers says is “irretrievably flawed.” Carriers making the filing  with the FCC last week include AT&T,...Learn More

Telecom, Utility Partnership Pursues Arkansas Gigabit

A rural telecom service provider and a neighboring rural electric power cooperative are coming together to bring gigabit broadband to parts of rural Arkansas. The rural telco is South Arkansas Telephone (SATCO) and the power company is Ouachita Electric Cooperative (OECC). The telecom, utility partnership has formed a new company called Arkansas Rural Internet Service...Learn More

Windstream Investment in CSAL Reduced by Half; Further Action to Come

Windstream investment in CSAL, the real estate investment trust (REIT) spun off from the company last year, is being reduced by half.  Windstream said late yesterday that it has closed a transaction to transfer half of its shares in Communications Sales & Leasing (CSAL) to creditors. The move was not a surprise. Windstream investment in...Learn More