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)

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References in periodicals archive ?
The UAE's largest privately-owned utility company has floated a tender for the design, build, operation and maintenance of a 100mn imperial gallons (454,600m 3 ) potable water tank farm with associated works in the Northern Emirates.
Many observers agree that municipal public works managers have been slower than privately-owned utility companies in accepting trenchless construction with horizontal directional boring equipment.