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 ?
Hydro-Quebec, a publicly-owned utility with a total available capacity of 37,000 MW, serves 3.
Hydro-Quebec, a publicly-owned utility with annual revenue of C$7 billion, has a total available capacity of close to 34,000 MW, more than 95 percent of which is produced through hydropower.
1 million customers of SMUD -- the nation's fifth largest publicly-owned utility.