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 Mobility Fund Plans Call For Two Year CETC Support Phase-out

Wireless carriers, known as competitive eligible telecommunications carriers (CETCs), who currently receive Universal Service funding in areas that will no longer be eligible for support will have that funding phased out over a two-year period beginning one month after completion of an upcoming mobility fund reverse auction. Details about the CETC support phase-out are included...Learn More

Akamai: Average U.S. Broadband Speed Hits 17.2 Mbps, But Only 42% Have Speeds Above 15 Mbps

The average U.S. broadband speed connection was 17.2 Mbps in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the latest Akamai “State of the Internet” report, released today. That was an increase of 5.5% over the previous quarter and a 21% increase year over year. Nearly 90% of U.S. broadband users (88%) connected at average speeds...Learn More

Windstream CEO: We’ll Pass on OTT, Focus on Broadband and Continue to Leverage Rural Markets

Windstream’s heavily rural local service territory gives the company an advantage over other major local exchange carriers, said Windstream CEO Tony Thomas yesterday. In combination with Windstream broadband, which has seen substantial investment, the company’s rural focus has enabled it to see stable revenue in its consumer business at a time when other telcos are...Learn More

CenturyLink CFO Says Consumer Business Still Important, Sees Promise with CenturyLink OTT

Even though 75% of CenturyLink’s business will come from the enterprise market after its merger with Level 3 Communications is completed, “we’re committed to the consumer business,” said CenturyLink Chief Financial Officer Stewart Ewing, who outlined key CenturyLink consumer initiatives at an investor conference today. “We continue to invest and drive higher [broadband] speeds.” CenturyLink...Learn More

CFO: TDS Telecom Fiber Take Rates Exceed Expectations

TDS Telecom fiber take rates are exceeding expectations in the 28 markets where the company has deployed fiber to support broadband service at rates up to 1 Gbps, said Vicki Villacrez, chief financial officer for the company, in a presentation at a financial conference yesterday. These take rates helped drive an overall 14% growth rate...Learn More

Sprint VoIP Patent Lawsuit Yields At Least $139.8 Million From Charter

A federal court Friday ruled in favor of Sprint in a VoIP patent lawsuit against Time Warner Cable (now part of Charter Communications), several news outlets have reported.  Charter will be required to pay Sprint at least $139.8 million and possibly triple that amount. The Sprint VoIP patent lawsuit dates back to 2011. The decision...Learn More

Zayo CEO Dan Caruso Outlines Zayo Strategy, Likes Position of Independent Widespread Fiber Provider

Zayo sees itself as the “only independent fiber provider across broad geographies” in the U.S., noted the company CEO Dan Caruso at an investor conference yesterday. That position, he said, will serve Zayo well as more and more fiber opportunities materialize. “The one thing that everybody agrees on. . . is that the amount of...Learn More

$212 Million in Broadband Funding Awarded to 26 Carriers Including FairPoint, Frontier, and TDS

The state of New York this week awarded nearly $212 million in funding to bring broadband to parts of the state where service is not available today or is only available at low speeds. The broadband funding awarded went to 26 companies, including cable companies, municipal networks, and cooperatives, as well as to traditional telecom...Learn More

Telecom REIT Strategy No Longer Viable?

Any service providers that were considering an asset spinoff in the form of a telecom REIT strategy may find that avenue is now closed to them, noted Mark Wallace, chief financial officer for Uniti, the company formerly known as Communications Sales & Leasing. CS&L, now known as Uniti, was spun off from Windstream as a...Learn More

Verizon CFO Ellis Shares Verizon 5G Roadmap, Including Nationwide Fixed 5G Plans

Verizon’s fixed 5G plans include offering fixed wireless broadband service outside the company’s traditional local service footprint, said Matt Ellis, Verizon chief financial officer and executive vice president today. Ellis made his comments in a question and answer session at an investor conference, where he outlined the Verizon 5G roadmap. Verizon 5G Roadmap Verizon currently...Learn More

Electric Co-op Broadband Providers Embrace Cloud Voice Services

Electric cooperative telecom initiatives gained further momentum this week with the news that four electric co-op broadband providers would offer voice services using a cloud-based solution from Alianza. Three of the co-ops – Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative; NEXT, powered by North Arkansas Electric Cooperative; and OzarksGo, the telecom subsidiary of Ozarks Electric Cooperative — had...Learn More

Private LTE Could Be Coming Soon, Thanks to Google CBRS Band Efforts

Considerable progress is being made in preparation for using Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum on a shared basis to support commercial and private wireless networks, according to separate announcements late last week from Google and Federated Wireless. According to a company blog post, Google CBRS efforts already have helped address two of three requirements...Learn More