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

FCC Lifeline Reversal on FreedomPop, Eight Others Draws Fire

The FCC Friday said nine service providers would not be able to collect funding from the commission’s Lifeline program, which pays part of the costs of communications services for qualified low-income users – at least for now and possibly not ever. According to FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, the move was made after the nine providers...Learn More

Rise Broadband: Fixed 5G Broadband Has Real Rural Challenges

Despite increased interest in fixed 5G on the part of the nation’s largest carriers, it’s still not a great choice for rural areas, said Jeff Kohler, co-founder of rural broadband wireless network operator Rise Broadband, in an interview with Telecompetitor. In discussing fixed 5G vs. broadband wireless, Kohler told us he sees the relatively short...Learn More

FCC’s O’Rielly: Any New Federal Broadband Funding Should Go to USF

As lawmakers consider making new funding available for infrastructure initiatives, which could include broadband, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly argued in a blog post today that any new federal broadband funding should be directed to the high-cost Universal Service Fund (USF) program. In the blog post, O’Rielly argued against other approaches that might be taken, such...Learn More

In Pursuit of 5G Spectrum, Verizon XO Purchase Closes

The Verizon XO purchase closed yesterday, giving Verizon access to valuable ultra-high-frequency 5G spectrum as well as XO’s fiber assets. The move came just one day after AT&T said it had acquired Fiber Tower, a company that calls itself a “provider of spectrum and fixed wireless services” and whose assets include ultra-high-frequency spectrum licenses. Verizon...Learn More

AT&T Network 3.0 Indigo Lays Path For 5G, Future of Networking

AT&T announced several big moves involving 5G wireless today, including plans for deployments in Austin and Indianapolis and a new platform dubbed Network 3.0 Indigo that will use software defined networking (SDN) and will underlie AT&T 5G networks. Austin also will house two new 5G testbeds that AT&T expects to have operational in early spring....Learn More

Will Pai’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee Re-invent the Wheel?

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has established what he is calling the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) aimed at bridging the digital divide and accelerating the deployment of high-speed broadband services. “The BDAC’s mission will be to identify regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment and to make recommendations to the commission on reducing and/or removing them,” Pai...Learn More

AT&T AirGig Trials with Power Companies Expected in 2017

AT&T said today that it is in advanced discussions with power companies and others regarding trials of AT&T AirGig technology in at least two locations by this fall. AT&T AirGig is an internally-developed wireless technology designed to be deployed using a series of plastic antennas on utility poles and to wirelessly follow the same path...Learn More

Up to $170 Million New York Connect America Funding to be Awarded by the State

The state of New York, rather than the FCC, will award up to $170 million in broadband Connect America funding to network operators to help cover the cost of bringing broadband to areas of the state where broadband is not available today. The funding, originally rejected by Verizon, had been earmarked for a nationwide reverse...Learn More

TDS A-CAM Broadband Support Will Total $75 Million Annually

TDS Telecom will be able to improve broadband service to a majority of the company’s wireline locations in the U.S. thanks to a 10-year $75 million annual cash infusion from the FCC high-cost universal service program, the company said yesterday. TDS is one of about 200 rural rate-of-return carriers that have committed to building out...Learn More

FCC: Carriers Accept $4.5 Billion in Revised A-CAM Broadband Support for Rural Broadband Expansion

The majority of rural rate of return carriers that initially opted to receive broadband support based on the FCC alternative Connect America model (A-CAM) have reconfirmed those plans based on revised A-CAM broadband support offers. Those offers were reduced when demand for the A-CAM program was greater than expected. Although the commission raised the budget...Learn More

Report: AT&T Third in Smart Home Market Share

AT&T has about 308,000 smart home subscribers, according to new smart home market share research from Strategy Analytics. That puts the carrier in third place among U.S. smart home service providers, behind two companies with roots in the home security business –Vivint and ADT. Combined, those two companies have more than 1.4 million smart home...Learn More

ITIF: Broadband Populists Threaten Commercial Network Operators

Broadband populists threaten commercial network operators and ultimately broadband deployment, argues the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation in a report released yesterday. These broadband populists include the likes of law professor Susan Crawford, the New America Foundation and The Free Press, according to the report. These entities are pursuing a range of policy objectives such...Learn More