Gr. t.ng"' \ /. br.ng .:.u n~.-; rr.:.rn [h. Publ,.:
Utility Research Center (PURC) at the University of Florida. Our electronic
newsletter is designed to keep utility regulators, policymakers and
infrastructure managers informed of our upcoming programs, research
activities and news about colleagues and resources. We invite you to
join our mailing list and receive our bulletins by e-mail.
Partnership with Brazilian Regulators
PURC is pleased to announce an activities partnership
with the Brazilian regulatory association, Associacao
Brasileira de Agnncias de Regulacao (ABAR). The
partnership was formed to facilitate activities and
initiatives that strengthen regulatory capacity and
support research on infrastructure performance.
Are utility commissions a fourth branch of government,
similar in standing to the executive, legislative, and
judicial branches? Some people think so. One such
person is Frank Vibert, who in his book, The Rise of the
Unelected, argues that expert agencies provide a new
kind of check and balance, and so constitute a fourth
branch of government. Read more in this new column
by PURC Director Mark Jamison. Its link also appears
under Faculty and Associates.
A Fourth Branch?
PURC/World Bank International Training Program
Congratulations to the 70 graduates of the 23rd
PURC/World Bank Program in January. They
represented 30 different nations. "Lessons from the
Course," co-authored by the participants and Dr. Berg,
as well as photos are available online. Since the
program's inception in 1997, the number of utility
regulators and managers who have graduated from the
program totals 1 880. The 24th delivery of the
PURC/World Bank International Training Program is
scheduled June 9-20, 2008.
Basic Course on Regulatory Economics for Telecommunications for ANACOM
Portugal: The basics of economic issues in
telecommunications regulation were the focus of a two-
week workshop in March for regulatory professionals at
ANACOM, the telecommunications regulatory agency for
Portugal. The participants engaged in case studies and
simulations on interconnection arrangements,
assessing market competition, functional separations,
and stakeholder processes. They also studied how
network economics affect market development and
competition, the basics of radio spectrum
management, essential features of spectrum auctions,
the essentials for conducting cost studies in
telecommunications, policies for broadband
development, and EU policies for universal service,
competition, and interconnection. Assisting Dr.
Jamison, and Dr. Berg, in the delivery of this course
was Jose Luis G6mez Barroso, an assistant professor
at the Universidad Nacional de Educaci6n a Distancia
(UNED) Dpto. Economia in Madrid, Spain (and former
PURC Visiting Scholar).
Research Papers Presented
Use our new search engine to locate PURC working
papers and publications, including:
"Getting What You Pay For: Analyzing the Net
What happens if ISPs are allowed to charge Web sites
for higher quality delivery of content? The amount and
diversity of content grows. That's the conclusion of a
recent study by PURC Director Dr. Mark Jamison and
PURC Research Associate Dr. Janice Hauge. Dr. Jamison
presented this paper in March at the European
Communications Policy Research (EuroCPR) Conference
in Seville, Spain, and will do so in June at the International
Telecommunications Society conference in Montreal, Canada.
"Water Utility Benchmarking for Managerial and
Policy Decisions: Lessons from Developing
Utility operations can only manage what they measure,
so information on productivity trends and relative
performance is important for both utility managers and
regulators. Drawing from the recent PURC/Inter-
American Development Bank study of Central American
water utilities, this paper identifies ten lessons from
utility managers. PURC Director of Water Studies, Dr.
Sanford Berg, presented this paper to more than 100
water specialists at the International Water
Association Pi08 Conference on Performance
Assessment of Urban Infrastructure Services (March 12-
14). It has been published in the book, Performance
Assessment of Urban Infrastructure Services: Drinking
Water Wastewater, and Solid Waste by IWA Publishing
"Water Utility Performance in Central America: The
Political Economy of Coverage, Quality and Cost"
This paper describes four sources of conflict in the
design and implementation of water policies: authority
conflicts (reflecting jurisdictional disputes over who has
the last word), cognitive conflicts (based on technical
disagreements regarding the analysis and
interpretation of performance data), values conflicts
(involving ideological differences or differential
preferences for sector outcomes), and interest conflicts
(where different groups-utilities, customers, unserved
citizens, regions, and unions-benefit or lose,
depending on the decision). Using data and experience
from Central America, Dr. Berg suggests strategies that
might be adopted to promote conflict resolution and
improve water sector performance in the region. He
presented this paper at the Center for International
Relations and Development Studies (CIDOB) in
Barcelona. The center hosted the conference,
"Universal Service Obligations and Regulatory Regimes:
the Latin American Experience" March 6-7. (CIDOB will
publish a book based on the presentations.)
Bulgaria: Water professionals from the Bulgarian State
Energy and Water Regulatory Commission learned
about building the block tariff, vulnerable customer
protections, service quality indicators, international
best practice, and information requirements for
benchmarking during workshop sessions in Sofia taught
by Dr. Sanford Berg. He participated as part of PURC's
collaboration with law firm Pierce Atwood. Its training
workshops were designed to review the specific legal
and regulatory framework in Bulgaria, and to build
consensus around proposed revisions.
6 More News...
Resources of interest
Dr. Berg calls to your attention a report by the
Independent Evaluation Group, The Welfare Impact of Rural
Electrification: A Reassessment of the Costs and Benefits.
Another helpful resource on the power sector is the
report, Reforming Power Markets in Developing
Countries: What Have We Learned? by John E.
Besant-Jones. The paper is a sourcebook of some 240
references that study international experiences in
power market reforms. The author will be a featured
presenter at the 24th PURC/World Bank International
raining Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy in
The Gator Nation
Congratulations to Dr. David E. M. Sappington, director
of the Robert F. Lanzillotti Public Policy Research
Center at the University of Florida who has been
named president of the Industrial Organization Society. Dr.
Sappington is a frequent speaker at the PURC/World
Bank International Training Program on Utility
Regulation and Strategy.
^ More News from The Gator Nation...
Cross Link with PURC
Find the resources you need on the PURC web site. Add
a link from your site to our home page,
warrinaton.ufl.edu/purc, and we'll be happy to reciprocate with
a cross link!
Send us your news.
0 purcinfo @ warrington.ufl.edu