public utility

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public utility

n. any organization which provides services to the general public, although it may be privately owned. Public utilities include electric, gas, telephone, water, and television cable systems, as well as streetcar and bus lines. They are allowed certain monopoly rights due to the practical need to service entire geographic areas with one system, but they are regulated by state, county and/or city public utility commissions under state laws. (See: monopoly)

References in periodicals archive ?
placed fifth in the apprentice investor-owned utility division.
Another clue was that the cooperative allowed a small town where their franchise had just expired to be taken over by the investor-owned utility with absolutely no fight or resistance by the cooperative.
power and gas sector and negative outlook for the investor-owned utility sector.

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