PURC Update

Winter 2007

Greetings! We bring you news from the Public 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 email.


35th Annual PURC Conference

Join us as we explore how climate change policy and new realities in telecommunications are altering the way infrastructure services are delivered in the future. Register now for the PURC Annual Conference, The Real Climate Change: Planning and Investing Under Uncertainty, coming up February 5-6, 2008 in Gainesville, Florida. Don't miss the January 11 deadline for the early registration fee, as well as for the conference guest room rate (single/double, $124) at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center. Find our strong lineup of speakers on the Annual Conference page.

Find more information on our Annual Conference page.


Research

Use our new search engine to locate PURC working papers and publications, including:

"Water Supply and Sanitation in Zambia: Reform and Regulation"

This PURC working paper by Chola Mbilima, a January 2007 graduate of the PURC/World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy, presents steps that can be taken to improve water sector performance.

"An Empirical Analysis of Fixed and Mobile Broadband Diffusion"

This international study by UF graduate students Sangwon Lee and Mircea Marcu demonstrates that competition between technologies, diffusion of personal computers, and local loop unbundling increases broadband deployment. Furthermore, allowing multiple standards for mobiles increases penetration of wireless broadband.

"Equilibrium Prices in Power Exchanges with Non-convex Bids"

This paper by Richard O'Neill, PURC Director of Energy Studies Paul Sotkiewicz, and Michael Rothkopf shows how uniform, linear prices in power exchange markets such as the Amsterdam Power Exchange and Nord Pool, which allow "fill or kill" block bids by market participants, lead to sub-optimal outcomes for market participants. The paper proposes to use discriminatory, multi-part prices in which there is a price for energy and a discriminatory price attached to the use of the block bid option, and shows how this pricing mechanism leads to efficient market outcomes and is optimal for market participants


Programs

Elements of Regulatory Finance Workshop

A PURC workshop for FPSC commissioners, aides and staff in October examined how the tools of finance are used in decision-making by utility managers and by regulators. Participants determined the time spent on the various topics and concepts while the presentations provided numerical examples illustrating how cash flows affect project valuation and project selection.

Basic Telecommunications Regulatory Training

Regulatory and telecommunications professionals in the Turks and Caicos Islands examined telecommunications technologies, telecommunications operator practices, objectives and roles for regulatory agencies, interconnection issues, and the basics of radio spectrum management.

PURC/IADB Benchmarking Workshop for Water Utilities

Utility managers, policy-makers, and regulators from Central America learned about sustainable and cost-effective benchmarking procedures, and reviewed resource allocation issues associated with water utilities in Central American nations during a workshop in Costa Rica. Read more on our Water Initiatives page.


Resources of interest

Dr. Sandy Berg calls to your attention these online resources:

OARE, Online Access to Research in the Environment, enables developing nations to gain free access to its large collections of environmental science literature. AGORA, Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture, offers online access to its digital collection at a reduced-cost or no cost to developing nations.

As state-owned utilities gain experience with benchmarking and improve their performance, they may seek the endorsement of regulators for the issuance of bonds. The Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) has announced a three-year pilot, the Sub-National Development Technical Assistance Program (PPIAF-SND), to help sub-national entities improve their creditworthiness so they can access market-based financing on their own account without sovereign guarantees. The goal of this new program is to help mobilize local capital for improvements in infrastructure services and promote the development of local financial markets.


The Gator Nation

We welcome Fulbright Visiting Scholar Dr. Iram Khan from Pakistan. While at PURC, he plans to study utility regulation, write research papers and develop e-learning modules for the Body of Knowledge on Infrastructure Regulation.

Congratulations to PURC Research Associate Dr. Hamilton Silva who received an award in economic regulation for his paper, "Cost Efficiency in Periodic Tariff Reviews: The Reference Utility Approach and the Role of Interest Groups," from the Secretaria de Acompanhamento Economico (SEAE) of Brazil's Ministry of the Economy.

Congratulations to Mohamadou A. Saibou in Dakar, Senegal on his new position as general director of ESMT, a Centre of Excellence of the International Telecommunication Union. International Telecommunication Union. He is a graduate of the 22nd PURC/World Bank International Training Program in June.

More news from The Gator Nation can be found on our news & events page.

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Warrington College of Business Administration
100 BRY
PO Box 117150
Gainesville, FL 32611-7150
Phone: 352.392.2397
Fax: 352.392.2086

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