Monthly Archives: February 2010

NY Assembly Passes Bill Limiting Ex Parte Communications in PSC Adjudicatory Proceedings

The New York PSC lacks effective rules prohibiting ex parte contacts, typically made between utilities and the regulator without notice to parties. Today, the New York State Assembly passed a bill to limit ex parte communications in Public Service Commission (PSC) adjudicatory proceedings. According to the Memorandum in Support of the bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Read more…

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FCC Consumer Survey Supports PULP’S Findings That Affordability Is Key Factor in Broadband Deployment

On February 23, 2010, the FCC its National Broadband Plan Consumer Survey entitled “Broadband Adoption and Use in America,” which found that affordability and lack of digital skills are the main reasons why 93 million Americans – one-third of the country – are not connected to high-speed Internet at home. This result supports PULP’s proposals Read more…

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KeySpan Agrees to $12 Million Settlement of DOJ Antitrust Claims it Manipulated NYISO Electric Capacity Market Prices

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division filed a civil complaint alleging that KeySpan (now National Grid) implemented an illegal scheme to offer capacity at the maximum price — economically withholding part of it — in order to drive up the NYISO capacity auction prices, and to profit through a financial derivative transaction when Read more…

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Verizon Service Quality Continues to Lag; Company Proposes Solution

According to the latest report from the New York State Public Service Commission (“PSC”) , Verizon’s service quality remained poor during the fourth quarter of 2009 . While its customer trouble report rate (the number of service troubles reported by customers per 100 access lines) remains strong, the company repaired out-of-service situations within 24 hours Read more…

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FCC Releases Less-than-Useful Broadband Deployment Data

This month, the FCC its “High-Speed Services for Internet Access Status Report” for the period ending December 31, 2008. Not only does this document report on data which is over a year old, it tracks broadband as connections over 200 mbps in at least one direction. At that speed, not only is broadband availability grossly Read more…

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Oceangate Submetering on Hold Pending PSC Review of Tenant Petition for Stay and Impact Assessment

When submetering is proposed by owners, it is common that tenants are misinformed and misled to believe that submetering will be offset by rent reductions and will only affect adversely those who are energy wasters, which is not true. The PSC often approves submetering without reliable information about the eventual impact on tenants, and after Read more…

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Town House West Tenants Seek PSC Ruling to Clarify Tax Issues in Setting Rates for Submetered Electric Service

The Town House West Tenants Association today filed a Petition for a Declaratory Ruling with the New York Public Service Commission to decide the proper treatment of taxes in their landlord’s method of calculation of rates for submetered electric service. When a New York City landlord resells electric service to tenants, a per kilowatt hour Read more…

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Nebraska Supreme Court: State Can Assess 911 Fee on TracFone Wireless Services

On February 12th, the Nebraska Supreme Court issued an opinion which upheld the state’s right to require TracFone to pay its 911 assessment on its wireless services. Nebraska had created three preapproved methods to collect the surcharge: a) The wireless carrier divides the total earned prepaid wireless telephone revenue received by the wireless carrier within Read more…

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Water Shutoff Issues Boil Over in Syracuse

According to the February 18, 2010 Post-Standard, City of Syracuse officials have a policy that after an owner whose house in in foreclosure stops paying water bills, the City “won’t take payments from a tenant once water has been shut off.” A City Water Department rule states that Applications for service to premises occupied by Read more…

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