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

Stand-Alone Broadband: Will Rural Users Still Pay Twice What Urban Users Pay?

The FCC’s plan to allow rural rate-of-return carriers to collect Universal Service funding for stand-alone broadband may not achieve its intended goal of substantially reducing the cost of that service, cautioned Michael Romano, senior vice president of industry affairs and business development for NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association, in an interview with Telecompetitor. Previously rural customers...Learn More

Report: Gigabit Network Benefits Include 25% Price Drop for Lower Speed Tiers

When gigabit broadband comes to an area, prices for broadband services of 100 Mbps or more are reduced by approximately $27 per month, according to a new study about gigabit network benefits conducted by Analysis Group for the Fiber to the Home Council. That’s about a 25% drop from the standard price, according to the...Learn More

Adtran: Dynamic Time Allocation Brings More Bandwidth Flexibility

+ dynamic time allocation is now available on equipment from Adtran, the company said today. Dynamic time allocation automatically adjusts the amount of bandwidth that is allocated to upstream and downstream communications in response to consumer usage patterns, explained Kurt Raaflaub, Adtran head of solutions marketing, in an interview. is an increasingly popular method...Learn More

Western Fiber Expansion Aims to Enhance Windstream Enterprise Strategy

Despite an increased emphasis on residential broadband over the last year or so, Windstream hasn’t lost its focus on the enterprise market, as an announcement today about a western fiber transport network expansion illustrates. The Windstream enterprise strategy emphasizes nationwide coverage — and while that traditionally has required Windstream to lease a relatively large percentage...Learn More

WiFi Security Survey Finds Familiarity with Ransomware Lower Than for Other Threats

The majority of WiFi users (89%) use public WiFi, even though many of them (91%) don’t feel that public WiFi is secure, according to a WiFi security survey conducted by WiFi vendor Xirrus. The survey also found a relatively low level of familiarity with ransomware, which according to Morgan Wright, a senior fellow at The...Learn More

Study Finds Disparity in Available Internet Speeds and Income

Non-cable Internet providers favor higher-income areas in targeting high-speed deployments, according to a new study of Internet speeds and income from the Center for Public Integrity. “That leaves tens of millions of Americans with the choice of either purchasing an expensive connection from the only provider in their area, typically a cable company, or just...Learn More

FCC Confirms Soaring Costs for Video Programming, Retransmission Fees

The average price for basic cable TV service increased 2.3% to $23.79 for the 12-month period ending January 1, 2015, driven in large part by soaring costs for video programming, according to a new FCC pay TV price survey. Expanded basic cable service rates increased by 2.7% between 2013 and 2014 to $69.03. Those are...Learn More

U.S. Cellular 5G Tests Show Technology’s Potential for Rural Markets

5G wireless technology could be an important technology for mid-sized and rural markets, as news today about U.S. Cellular 5G testing illustrates. The company said it had collaborated with Nokia to test 5G and demonstrate 5G in a fixed wireless configuration. U.S. Cellular and Nokia plan additional collaborative work and are focusing on indoor and...Learn More

Windstream Fixed Wireless Expansion Highlights Growing Competitive Realities

Updated October 13 with additional information from Windstream Fixed broadband wireless gained more traction today with Windstream’s announcement that a Windstream fixed wireless service will be launched in 40 markets nationwide. The service is targeted to provide speeds of up to 275 Mbps bi-directionally and to support service level agreements. Windstream did not immediately respond...Learn More

Latest Wheeler Business Data Services Proposal Calls for 11% Cap Reduction on TDM Offerings

A new proposal for regulating business data services from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler calls for an 11% reduction in the cap on incumbent local carriers’ TDM service pricing to be phased in over three years, beginning in July 2017. TDM services sold on a wholesale basis to other service providers and to enterprise users would...Learn More

AT&T Asks FCC to Take Action on “Nefarious” Inter-Carrier Compensation Practices

 AT&T last week asked the FCC to address what it called “nefarious” inter-carrier compensation(ICC) practices including unusually high tandem switching and transport access charges and non-competitive 800-number database dips. In a blog post AT&T noted that such practices are counter-productive to FCC efforts to phase out the traditional approach toward inter-carrier compensation in favor of...Learn More

FCC Poised to Adopt Wheeler Broadband Privacy Proposal

The FCC will vote later this month on a proposal from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler spelling out rules for broadband providers to follow with regard to customer privacy. The Wheeler broadband privacy proposal currently circulating within the commission would require providers to obtain “opt-in” consent before using or sharing sensitive personal information, including a customer’s...Learn More