Monthly Archives: January 2010

PSC Creates New Office of Consumer Policy

Effective earlier this month, the New York State Public Service Commission (“PSC”) created the Office of Consumer Policy and named Douglas Elfner to be its Acting Director. According to the PSC, the Office of Consumer Policy will focus on consumer policy matters, including those issues raised in rate cases and proceedings, such as low income Read more…

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Auburn N.Y. Municipal Water User Opposes City’s Motion to End Litigation Over Constitutionality of Termination and Denial Practices

In October 2008 a tenant user of municipal water utility service provided by the City of Auburn, N.Y. commenced a lawsuit in U.S. District Court challenging constitutionality of the City’s utility water service practices. The tenant is represented by PULP. The house the Plaintiff lived in was in foreclosure and the absentee owner had stopped Read more…

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FCC: Verizon Service Quality Worse than Other Regional Bells

In a report released by the FCC at the end of December 2009 entitled “Quality of Service of Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers,” Verizon ranked poorly across all of its territories. The report covered the service quality of Verizon (including Verizon GTE, Verizon North, and Verizon South), AT&T (including AT&T Ameritech, AT&T BellSouth, AT&T Pacific, AT&T Read more…

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Two New York Groups Receive Stimulus Funding for Broadband Projects; PULP Awaits the Fate of its Proposal

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 , the federal government allocated $7.2 billion to the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA“), and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Utilities Program to map broadband infrastructure in the United States, develop a plan for broadband deployment, and issue loans Read more…

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Court Seeks Comment on Proposal to Use Con Ed Customer Money and RGGI Funds to Settle Lawsuit Claiming RGGI "Cap and Trade" Scheme is Illegal

BackgroundAs we previously reported, the RGGI “cap and trade” program run by New York State agencies without enabling legislation was challenged in court by a power generator with a fixed long term contract that could not be adjusted to add the new cost of buying RGGI carbon allowances. See Millions of RGGI “Cap and Trade” Read more…

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Vulnerability of "Smart Meters" to Malicious Computer Hacking

In the movie “Utilities,” a Canadian comedy, the utility’s mainframe computer is rejiggered to generate refunds instead of bills by a social worker enraged by the utility’s harsh treatment of his old, disabled, impoverished client, who died in the cold after a shutoff of service despite best efforts to pay her bill. The plot involves Read more…

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Cable VoIP Phone Providers to Start Collecting E-911 Surcharge

Historically, Public Service Answering Points (“PSAPs”), the dispatch centers which receive emergency telephone calls when 9-1-1 is dialed, have been supported by the local landline telephone companies through a surcharge imposed on their customers. These surcharges, detailed in the state’s County Law, are normally 35 cents a month for each landline access line, but can Read more…

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