PURC Update

Spring 2011

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.


Director's Take

Should you hold onto the things that got you to where you are today, or let them go so that they don't hold you back? There is no easy answer to that question. Apple decided to let go in the 1980s, firing Steve Jobs and losing the creative soul that the company needed for a successful future.

Read more in "Hold On or Let Go?" by PURC Director Dr. Mark Jamison.


Sandy's Selections

Dr. Sandy Berg directs your attention to the Operation and Maintenance Network (OMN) that aims to improve expertise exchange regarding drinking-water supply and sanitation systems.

Read more at Sandy's Selections.


PURC Offers New Advanced Courses in Energy, Benchmarking, and Telecom

PURC Advanced International Practices Program

PURC introduces the PURC Advanced International Practices Program, beginning July 31, 2011. The new program has been developed in consultation with faculty and alumni of the PURC/World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy. The program's three new courses – Energy Pricing, Benchmarking Infrastructure Operations, and Measuring Telecom Provider Costs – are designed to provide experienced utility professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the technical matters of infrastructure policy. Program participants will engage in case studies, use computer models, and hear presentations by PURC faculty and other infrastructure experts. The courses emphasize practical lessons and new techniques for addressing the most pressing pricing, market, and process issues.

Read more on our Energy Initiatives page.


More Upcoming Courses

30th PURC/World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy

Congratulations to the graduates of the 29th delivery of the PURC/World Bank International Training Program. In January 2011, 94 participants from 34 nations came to enhance their economic, technical, and policy skills. Key lessons, co-authored by the participants and Dr. Sandy Berg, are available online. The 30th delivery of this training program is scheduled June 13-24, 2011.

PURC Leadership Workshop - Practicing Leadership in a Political Environment

International regulatory professionals will examine the activities, behaviors, mindsets, and skills of a successful leader during this one-day intensive training workshop for emerging leaders in utility policy held in Gainesville, Florida, June 25, 2011.


Recent Training Programs and Events

38th Annual PURC Conference

The 38th Annual PURC Conference, "Next Generation Regulation: Strengthening the Foundation While Adapting to Change," held in February 2011, explored the difficult challenges that regulators, policymakers, industry, consumers, and other stakeholders must confront to ensure that Florida and the nation continue to improve the availability and effectiveness of our energy, telecommunications, and water supplies. NARUC President Tony Clark gave the keynote address. Andrew C. Barrett of The Barrett Group, and NorthWestern Energy CEO Bob Rowe each received a 2011 PURC Distinguished Service Award. Robert J. Casey of the Florida Public Service Commission was the recipient of the 2011 PURC Distinguished Service Award.

PURC Senior Fellow Meets with Industry Representatives

During a visit to Tanzania and Kenya, PURC Senior Fellow (and former public utility executive) Karen Johnson met with utility and regulatory professionals, many of whom had previously attended the PURC/World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy in Gainesville. Read more in PURC news & events November 2010.

8th Annual Conference for the Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators

Hurricanes cause billions of dollars worth of damage every year. At the 8th Annual Conference for the Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, PURC Director of Energy Studies Ted Kury discussed his research on Florida's efforts to quantify the costs and benefits of hurricane hardening activities and the relocation of electric distribution lines underground. Mr. Kury also presented a paper by PURC Director of Water Studies Sanford Berg on a new benchmarking initiative for Caribbean water utilities that can lead to more efficient provision of water service.

Energy Training for the Bermuda Department of Energy

Establishing the regulatory process is a complicated matter of assessing both where you stand and where you want to be, as well as understanding how these may change over time. Ted Kury and PURC Senior Fellow Raj Barua worked with commissioners and staff of the Bermuda Department of Energy in Hamilton.

Workshop on Information Systems for Performance Indicators

The operators of large and small water and wastewater systems in the Caribbean identified performance indicators as an important area for capacity-building. This collaborative workshop held in Grenada presented the results from Phase I of the CariWOPs Program, funded by U.N.-HABITAT and IDB. Dr. Sanford Berg presented a checklist for conducting benchmarking studies.

Dr. Berg also met with infrastructure professionals from the Regulated Industries Commission of Trinidad and Tobago where he discussed the CWWA Pre-Conference activities in Grenada, including an overview of the Caribbean component of the Global Water Operators Partnerships Alliance initiative in the Caribbean (CariWOP).

2010 Wireless U.

What are the key issues that state legislators face on wireless telecommunications? What core knowledge do they need to address these challenges? These topics were addressed at Wireless U., a program of the National Conference of State Legislators delivered with the assistance of PURC and with the financial support of CTIA-The Wireless Association.

Competition Seminar in Thailand

How can telecommunications regulators assess the potential competitiveness of emerging markets? That was the subject of a competition seminar delivered by Dr. Mark Jamison for the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) of Thailand, in cooperation with Thammasat University.

Leadership Seminar in Thailand

Can neuroscience really reveal how utility regulators can do their jobs more effectively? Yes, said Dr. Jamison during his seminar at Thammasat University titled "Leadership and the Independent Regulator."

Open Mobile Workshop in Thailand

Should mobile broadband providers be required to open their networks to any phone manufacturer or app developer? That was the subject of a 2-day workshop designed for the NTC and delivered by Dr. Jamison in Bangkok.

Telecommunications Competition Seminar

How can telecommunications regulators use financial and market data to assess current and future telecommunications markets? That was the focus of the telecommunications seminar "Competitive Analysis in Telecoms: Current and Future Markets," delivered by PURC to the Uganda Communications Commission and other industry professionals in Uganda.

Executive Leadership Workshop

How can executive managers help their organizations prepare for and adapt to new challenges? That was the topic of the workshop "Executive Leadership, Strategic Planning, and Organizational Development in Utilities Regulation" that PURC delivered in Kampala, Uganda.


Presentations

Oil Supply and Demand Presentation at PIEC

Questions surrounding the role of oil in the economy of the U.S. and Florida are rampant. At a panel addressing the DeepWater Horizon accident at the 17th Annual Public Interest Environmental Conference at the University of Florida's Levin College of Law, Ted Kury discussed the magnitude of the supply and demand for oil in his presentation, "The Role of Oil and the Gulf of Mexico in the United States Economy". Read more in PURC news & events February 2011.

CCRP Winter Policy Workshop

How do we form the questions to be addressed as we assess the ways in which we can alter global energy policy? This question was addressed by participants at a winter workshop in Birmingham, UK, co-hosted by the Aston Centre for Critical Infrastructure and Services at the Aston Business School and the Centre for Competition and Regulatory Policy at City University London. Ted Kury presented his paper, "The Marginal Effects of the Price for Carbon Dioxide: Quantifying the Effects on Electric Generation". Read more in PURC news & events February 2011.

Florida Energy Systems Consortium Annual Summit

Energy policy research is critical for understanding the impact of policy on the future direction of Florida's economy. Ted Kury shared two research projects with the participants and served as team leader for the Policy working group. Read more in PURC news & events September 2010.

Telecommunications and Electric Utilities: Current Issues

What makes a good broadband policy? An effective broadband policy should emphasize improving the efficiency whereby customers can obtain the services they want and that are worth paying for, according to Dr. Jamison. He presented "A Tale of Two Broadband Strategies" at the Florida Bar Association's symposium in Tallahassee. Read more in PURC news & events September 2010.

Find more presentations on the content leaders page.


Body of Knowledge on Infrastructure Regulation

Coming later this year, stay tuned for Thai and Russian translations of the Body of Knowledge on Infrastructure Regulation glossary. Visit the BoKIR's website.


The Gator Nation

PURC bids farewell to Visiting Research Scholars Krittipohn Sriyabhandha and Narongpol Chotset from the National Telecommunications Commission of Thailand. During their 10-month internships, they assisted the PURC team on research projects and programs, including the PURC/World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy, the Body of Knowledge on Infrastructure Regulation, and the PURC report Strategic Planning for Florida Governmental Broadband Capabilities.

Congratulations to PURC Research Associate Dr. Guillermo Sabbioni who has become the chair of the Undergraduate Economics department at Pontificia Univeridad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Congratulations to Haruna Twaibu Songoro, a graduate of the PURC/World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy. He has been appointed and sworn as the Judge of the High Court of Tanzania.

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