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

Canada Broadband Universal Service: 50 Mbps Speed Target, Up to $750 Million New Funding

Canadian regulators have declared broadband a universal service and have set an ambitious target speed of 50 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream. The Canada broadband universal service plans call for transitioning an existing $100 million annual voice-focused fund to broadband and making additional funding of up to $750 million available over the first five...Learn More

2016: A Big Year for Telecom M&A

The past year was a big one for telecom M&A. Telecompetitor covered more than two dozen mergers and acquisitions in 2016 and they involved numerous facets of the industry. Here’s a summary of key trends and how they are reshaping the communications service provider playing field. Tier 1 Telecom M&A The biggest changes occurred in...Learn More

FCC Partially Addresses A-CAM Universal Service Budget Shortfall

The FCC adopted a report and order, released late yesterday, that frees up an additional $50 million annually for rate of return carriers that adopted the model-based A-CAM Universal Service option. More carriers than expected chose that option, creating a $160 million budget shortfall in the program, which aims to spur the deployment of broadband...Learn More

AT&T Call Protect Offers Free Fraud Blocking

Carriers may be motivated to shift mobile voice traffic to their LTE networks primarily to save costs, but as news today about a new AT&T capability called Call Protect illustrates, that move also can enable new capabilities for end users. AT&T Call Protect is a free service that uses the wireless network to block suspected...Learn More

Lifeline Broadband Problems: Big Carriers Opt Out, Rural Carriers Struggle with Pricing

The FCC’s decision to allow qualified low-income households to use funding from the Universal Service Lifeline program toward broadband service was welcomed back in March when it was made, but problems with the program are mounting. Key Lifeline broadband problems: big carrier participation and rural carrier stand-alone broadband pricing. According to a press release from...Learn More

Bell Canada Testing AT&T ECOMP Open Source SDN Platform

AT&T gained some traction for the AT&T ECOMP open source software defined networking (SDN) platform with the announcement yesterday that Bell Canada is testing ECOMP. ECOMP, which stands for “Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy,” was developed by AT&T and is a key part of AT&T efforts to make its network more software-centric in order...Learn More

FCC Chairman Wheeler to Step Down January 20

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said today that he will step down January 20, 2017. With Wheeler to step down, that will leave the commission with just three commissioners in the short term. Legislators have declined to re-confirm Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and with Wheeler (also a Democrat) leaving, that means Mignon Clyburn will be the...Learn More

$3.5 Million in Rural Broadband Experiment Support Authorized for Minnesota Project

The FCC has authorized Rural Broadband Experiment support totaling nearly $3.5 million for Lake Connections, a community-owned network in rural Lake County, Minnesota.  The support will go toward bringing broadband service to 845 census blocks comprising 8,497 locations that do not have broadband available to them today. Rural Broadband Experiment Support The Rural Broadband Experiment...Learn More

Akamai: Average U.S. Peak Broadband Speed Hits 70.8 Mbps

The average U.S. peak broadband speed was 70.8 Mbps in the third quarter of 2016 – an increase of 23% over the same period a year earlier, according to the latest Akamai “State of the Internet” report, released today. The average peak connection speed is Akamai’s closest approximation to the actual speeds that end users’...Learn More

Sprint HPUE Technology Claims Indoor Coverage Breakthrough

Sprint HPUE technology, announced today, aims to overcome certain limitations of the company’s 2.5 GHz spectrum, which according to the company, carries more traffic than any other spectrum band the company uses. Sprint said the high-performance user interface (HPUE) technology extends coverage range 30%, while maintaining capacity and speed. The range extension applies to indoor...Learn More

Legislators Pursue Broadband for Veterans and Children

The House of Representatives has adopted legislation and a resolution targeting broadband for veterans and school-age children. Broadband for Veterans The bill is H.R. 6394, known as the Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2016. Introduced by Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-California), the bill would require the FCC to submit a report to Congress about...Learn More

Using T-Mobile DIGITS on Competitor Phones Has Strings Attached

The T-Mobile DIGITS phone number offering announced yesterday breaks a lot of new ground, but may not be quite as disruptive as it initially appears, as a Telecompetitor email exchange with a T-Mobile spokesperson revealed. Despite T-Mobile hype, using T-Mobile DIGITS on competitor phones comes with strings attached. As T-Mobile explains in a video and...Learn More