Monday, March 15, 2010

FCC Set to Issue Broadband Plan


The Federal Communications Commission’s plan to expand high-speed Internet service, or broadband, is due to Congress by March 17. The agency released a summary today, urging industry and government action. Adding airways for mobile use of the Web will be “a core goal,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a speech last month.

The agency aims to increase the share of those using broadband at home to 90 percent, from about 65 percent today, and having 100 million households with connections of 100 megabits per second, the FCC said. The median speed for broadband customers now connected by fiber or cable is 5 megabits to 6 megabits per second, the FCC said in the plan.

Water Infrastructure in Need of Replacement

The New York Times:

State and federal studies indicate that thousands of water and sewer systems may
be too old to function properly.

For decades, these systems — some built around the time of the Civil War — have been ignored by politicians and residents accustomed to paying almost nothing for water delivery and sewage removal. And so each year, hundreds of thousands of ruptures damage streets and homes and cause dangerous pollutants to seep into drinking water supplies.

PPL Seeking Rate Increase

The Wall Street Journal (subscription):

PPL Corp. (PPL) said Monday it will seek what it called a modest increase in Pennsylvania electric rates beginning next year to cover its investments in power-grid infrastructure.

While the company hasn't finalized its request, it would seek no more than $115 million, said David DeCampli, president of PPL Electric Utilities. That would be about a 2.5% increase to PPL's annual retail revenue.

The rate hike, which requires approval of the state Public Utility Commission, would affect only distribution rates, which account for about one-fourth of the average residential electric bill.