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

Report: Sprint Now in Talks with Charter (Again) for Possible Merger

Softbank, the majority owner of Sprint, is in talks about a possible Sprint Charter merger, according to a report from the New York Post. The move comes just days after discussions about a Sprint T-Mobile merger were called off and just a few months after previous discussions about a Sprint Charter merger were ended. Sprint...Learn More

FirstNet Rural Build Out Opportunities, State Opt Out Controversy Outlined Before Congress

A Congressional hearing today brought some clarity to open issues regarding the FirstNet public safety network, including FirstNet rural service provider opportunities, as well as interoperability and opt out issues. Interoperability issues pertain to two different aspects of the network, including the radio access network consisting of cellsites, backhaul and other mobile network equipment, as...Learn More

With Sprint T-Mobile Merger Called Off, What’s Next?

With the Sprint T-Mobile merger called off, what’s next for the wireless carriers? Many saw the merger as the best move for Sprint, which has been struggling in a competitive wireless market. The merger was less critical for T-Mobile. But that company has been a disruptive force in the wireless industry and hasn’t been one...Learn More

With FCC Approval of the CenturyLink Level 3 Merger in Hand, Deal is Set to Close Wednesday

With FCC approval of the CenturyLink Level 3 merger announced today, the stage is set for the deal to close Wednesday, CenturyLink said today. The deal already has received all other necessary approvals, a press release states.  Earlier this month, the Department of Justice approved the deal with relatively few conditions. Also this month, California...Learn More

FirstNet Opt Out: With Accusations Flying, AT&T and FirstNet Respond

As roughly half of U.S. states consider a FirstNet opt out or opt in decision, considerable confusion has arisen about states’ options – confusion resulting, some say, from pressure tactics applied by FirstNet, the government entity created to administer the nationwide mobile broadband public safety network that carries the same name. Concerns also have arisen...Learn More

FCC Proposes USF Lifeline Cap for $2 Billion Annual Program, Resellers Would be Ineligible

The FCC is proposing major changes to the USF Lifeline program, including imposing a cap on the program, which has disbursed as much as $2.1 billion in a year to cover some or all of the cost of broadband and/or voice service for low-income households. The proposal comes in a notice of proposed rulemaking on...Learn More

Municipal Network Sale: Wholesale Customer to Buy Open Access Network Axcess Ontario

Upstate New York-based Axcess Ontario has announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its open access fiber optic network ring to Empire Access, a broadband service provider that has purchased connectivity from Axcess Ontario on a wholesale basis. The municipal network sale will enable the network to expand, the seller and buyer said....Learn More

U.S. Cellular 5G Fixed Wireless Tests: 8.5 Gbps Using Macrocell Antennas at 28 GHz

U.S. Cellular has achieved speeds of 8.5 Gbps in tests of 5G fixed wireless technology at 28 GHz using macrocell antennas. The U.S. cellular 5G fixed wireless tests were the first to use an antenna height of 123 feet, the company said. Because distances covered are shorter for wireless communications in high-frequency millimeter wave (mmWave)...Learn More

NewCore, RINA Partner with Rural Wireless Carriers on Shared Infrastructure, IMS Core First Up

A group of more than 40 rural wireless carriers led by NewCore Wireless and RINA Wireless hopes to find strength in numbers in a wireless market that has become increasingly challenging for smaller carriers. Both NewCore and RINA have invested in core wireless network infrastructure that they offer to wireless carriers on a wholesale basis....Learn More

FCC Signals Potential Compromise for Contentious CBRS Spectrum Rules

The FCC today took the first step toward resetting the rules for the CBRS spectrum band between 3550 MHz and 3700 MHz. The rationale for changing CBRS spectrum rules would be to foster an improved investment environment, FCC officials said at today’s monthly commission meeting. Opponents, including rural wireless internet service providers (WISPs) who want...Learn More

Sckipio Demonstrates Gfast Speeds of 3.1 Gbps Downstream over Copper, Calix Takes Advantage

Manufacturers continue to enhance the broadband speeds that copper phone wiring can support using the Gfast standard. Sckipio today said it demonstrated Gfast speeds of 3.1 Gbps downstream and 900 Mbps upstream at the Broadband World Forum in Berlin. The demonstration used two copper pairs bonded together. In an email to Telecompetitor, Sckipio Vice President...Learn More

With Smart Farm Technology, Individual Plants Now Generate Data, Requiring Good Rural Broadband Coverage

The agricultural industry is expecting big things from smart farm technology aimed at enhancing crop yields while minimizing the use of fertilizers and pesticides and which will rely heavily on broadband connectivity. According to Transparency Market Research, the global  smart agriculture market is expected to increase 13.5% annually through 2025, rising from $6.5 billion in...Learn More

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