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

CWA Wants to Make T-Mobile, Sprint Job Commitments Binding

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union wants T-Mobile and Sprint to make a binding commitment not to eliminate jobs in their proposed merger. According to a CWA analysis, as many as 30,000 U.S. jobs could be lost as a result of the planned Sprint, T-Mobile merger. The majority of those losses (26,000) would result...Learn More

FairlawnGig Expands its Reach, Touts Municipal Broadband Network Success

FairlawnGig — a municipal broadband network offering gigabit speeds in Fairlawn, Ohio – is expanding service to include communities within the greater Akron area. It’s an interesting development for the municipal broadband sector at a time when some municipal networks have struggled and when some states have made it difficult for municipal networks to offer...Learn More

Qualified $2B CAF II Auction Bidders Range From Tier 1 Verizon, to Rural Telcos, Electrics, WISPs, and Everything In Between

More than 200 companies (220) have qualified to participate in the Connect America Fund II (CAF II) auction scheduled to begin in late July, including large incumbent carriers such as Verizon, Cox, Windstream, Frontier, Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom and dozens of rural telcos. Also qualifying as CAF II auction bidders are large and small...Learn More

Windstream, USTelecom Reach Telecom Unbundling Compromise; Is UNE Era Set to End?

Windstream and USTelecom have reached a compromise agreement involving telecom unbundling that would offer an alternative to a filing made by USTelecom back in May. The agreement requires FCC approval, but generally the FCC looks favorably upon agreements that opposing telecom stakeholders have been able to negotiate without FCC involvement. “Together we reached an agreement...Learn More

Sprint CTO: Not All Massive MIMO is Created Equal

There’s a lot of talk about using massive MIMO antennas to boost mobile network performance these days. But according to Sprint CTO John Saw, “not all massive MIMO is created equal.” At an investor conference yesterday, Saw said Sprint massive MIMO will have an advantage because it will operate in the 2.5 GHz band, because...Learn More

FirstNet Now Serves Over 1,000 Public Safety Agencies; Service Used in Active Shooter Situations

FirstNet public safety agencies now number over 1,000, AT&T announced yesterday. The carrier is the exclusive operator of the FirstNet nationwide mobile broadband network. Although that network is still under construction, the carrier already gives public safety users priority access and, when necessary, pre-emption on its existing mobile network. Authorized FirstNet public safety users can...Learn More

AT&T Data Center Sale Will Yield $1.1 Billion for Debt Paydown

AT&T said today that it will sell 31 data centers to Brookfield Infrastructure. The AT&T data center sale encompass 18 U.S. data centers and 13 data centers outside the U.S. Although today’s press release stopped short of describing the transaction as an outright data center sale, instead referring to it as a “transfer” of “data...Learn More

AT&T NB-IoT Network Will Co-Exist with LTE-M

AT&T plans to launch a narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network in the U.S. early next year. The launch will offer an alternative to the company’s existing LTE-M network, which also supports IoT communications. AT&T NB-IoT As AT&T explained in a press release, both NB-IoT and LTE-M offer longer battery life, extended coverage and lower...Learn More

FCC Filing: A Merged T-Mobile Sprint Would Become Major ISP Competitor With Fixed Broadband, Eyes Rural Expansion

If T-Mobile and Sprint are allowed to merge, rural Americans would see major benefits, the companies argued in a 600-page statement of public interest filed with the FCC yesterday that touts a wide range of merger benefits. Plans would include a T-Mobile Sprint fixed wireless offering that would be competitive with landline options, along with...Learn More

ASSIA Chief: DSL Could Support Terabit Speeds

Copper twisted pair telephone wiring could someday support terabit speeds over distances of approximately 100 meters, according to Dr. John Cioffi, chairman and CEO of broadband software development company ASSIA. Technologies underlying terabit DSL would include a waveguide approach in combination with vectoring, explained Cioffi in an interview with Telecompetitor, in which he provided details...Learn More

AT&T, Verizon Spar Over San Jose 5G, Small Cell, Smart City Plans

AT&T and Verizon today issued dueling press releases about plans for San Jose, California. AT&T, Verizon San Jose plans both involve 5G, small cells and the smart city, with AT&T emphasizing the 5G side and Verizon emphasizing the smart city. The dueling press releases illustrate how positively carriers view the opportunities in high-tech affluent cities...Learn More

FCC Rural Healthcare Fund Poised for $171 Million Annual Budget Increase

The USF rural healthcare fund appears set to get an increase in its budget cap of $171 million annually, which would bring its annual budget to $571 million from its current $400 million. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a press release today stating that a draft order that would increase the FCC rural healthcare fund...Learn More

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