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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.
Real options have captured the imagination of financial
analysts, business planners, and cost analysts. They
should also be part of every regulator's tool kit. What
is a real option? A real option is the opportunity, but
not the obligation, to make a particular decision. Read
more in this column by PURC Director Mark lamison.
Dr. Sanford Berg shares his thoughts and invites you to
visit his new web page, Sandy's Selections, for
resources of interest, news about his students and
other notes. Its link also appears under Faculty &
PURC/World Bank International Training Program
Congratulations to the 99 graduates of the 24th
PURC/World Bank Program in June. They represented
35 nations. "Lessons from the Course," co-authored by
the participants and Dr. Sandy Berg, is available anuae.
Since the program's inception in 1997, the number of
utility regulators and managers who have graduated
from the program totals 1,979. The 25th delivery of the
PURC/World Bank International Training Program is
scheduled january 12-23, 2009.
Practicing Leadership in a Political Environment: A One-Day Intensive Training
Workshop for Emerging Leaders in Utility Policy
This PURC leadership workshop, scheduled january 24,
2009, will examine the activities, behaviors, mindsets
and skills of a successful leader.
Participants will learn to identify and build a leadership
style that encourages collaboration and team
cohesiveness. They will also consider the personal
practices of successful leaders in developing vision,
resolving conflicts and setting priorities.
Providing Leadership in Utility Policy
Utility commissioners at the PURC/CLA leadership
seminar preceding the NARUC Summer meeting in
Portland examined the leadership skills needed to help
the nation confront its energy and environmental
They discussed cases in which regulators can help
stakeholders adapt to new realities for energy
provision and costs, and how to help pormlc aker andic
the public make difficult tradeoffs andoruaeplc
changes where appropriate.
"What should regulators know?" was the topic of a
keynote address by: PURC Director Mark lamison at the
annual conference in July of the Australian Competition and
consumer commission in Gold ~Coast, Australia.
He emphasized that regulatory commissions today face
adaptive challenges situations where there is
general disagreement over the relevant questions and
how to make tradeoffs and that regulators should be
cautious about adopting technical fixes too soon in the
process. Instead, regulators should maintain flexibility
while helping the public, stakeholders, politicians, and
researchers sort out how they view the future and how
they will adjust to the new realities of energy prices,
environmental policy, water limitations, and
telecommunications convergence. Settling into a
technical fix before enough Is known would stifle
important debates and likely create the need for costly
re-engineering of regulatory decisions. At the same
time, regulators cannot abandon their critical roles of
providing an environment that encourages investment
and that protects consumers against market power and
undue discrimination. Approximately 400 regulatory
professionals attended the conference.
IbMore from Australia
The value of collaborative activities between regulatory
agencies and universities was the subject of a July
presentation by PURC associate and former Florida
Public Service Commissioner Isilio Arriaga in Mexico
City at FIAR (Forn Thernamericano de Aaencias de Reaulaci6n), a
forum on infrastructure regulation. During the session,
PURC Assistant Director Araceli Castaneda updated
forum attendees on PURC research and recent
programs in Latin America and other regions of the
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 lamison and
PURC Research Associate Dr. Janice Hauge.
Dr. Jamison presented the paper, "Getting What You
Pay For: Analyzing the Net Neutrality Debate," in lune
at the International telecommunications Society conference in
Low income households in Florida are quickly cutting
the cord and adopting cellular phones as their primary
means of communications, according to a recent PURC
study. In a May presentation to the Florida Public
Service Commission in Tallahassee, PURC Director Mark
lamison noted that low income consumers are moving
to wireless at a faster rate than higher income
households. He added that low income households are
adopting prepaid cellular phones because of their
convenience and value for money. The presentation
summarized recent PURC research on the Lifeline
telephone discount program. The research found that
the program's traditional focus on landline
telecommunications is causing it to become out of date
for eligible households. Not only is the program losing
value for these consumers, but they also find it too
hard to enroll, despite work< by the Commission,
telecommunications companies, and others to simplify
and promote the program.
Will broadband be an engine of economic growth? That
depends on whether consumers and businesses adopt
new ways of using broadband and whether government
policies encourage competition, according to PURC
Director Mark lamison. During his keynote speech in
Aril at the Telecom Environment Manag ement(TEM)
208 conference in Orlando, he explained that while
information technologies and telecommunications have
been engines of economic growth in both developed
and developing countries, there is still much to be
learned about the potential impacts of broadband. The
first challenge is to ensure that broadband is available
to and used by the customers who can use it for
growing the economy. This points to the need for
competitive markets and to ensuring that regulatory
decisions are kept out of the political arena. Dr.
Jamison also encouraged the attendees to look beyond
the simple broadband penetration statistics often
mentioned in the press, and instead to look into
measures of the intensity of use of telecommunications
applications, an area where the United States holds a
sizable lead over other countries. The second challenge
to ensuring that economies leverage broadband is to
develop a culture that is willing to transform its
economic systems and organizations to take advantage
of what broadband has to offer. This process of
creative destruction appears to have been key to the
resurgence of productivity growth in the United States,
a resurgence that was made possible by using
information technologies in new and creative ways.
"Will broadband be an engine of economic growth?
That depends on whether consumers and businesses
adopt new ways of using broadband and whether
government policies encourage competition, according
t~o PURC Director Mark lamison.
If you missed our first research e-newsletter, click here.
The Gator Nation
Tobias Aloisi Swai, a graduate of the lune 2004
PURC/World Bank International Training Program, and
lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, returned to
the University of Florida in May 2008 to participate in
the 2008 International Academy of African Business
and Development Conference, co-sponsored by PURC.
He presented the paper, "Business~ Development
Services to Small and Mledium Enterprises: Experiences
from an Online Business Plan in Tanzania."
e More News from The Gator Nation...
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