Public Utility

A public utility (usually just utility) is an organization that maintains the infrastructure for a public service (often also providing a service using that infrastructure). Public utilities are subject to forms of public control and regulation ranging from local community-based groups to state-wide government monopolies. (Common arguments in favor of regulation include the desire to control market power, facilitate competition, promote investment or system expansion, or stabilize markets. In general, though, regulation occurs when the government believes that the operator, left to his own devices, would behave in a way that is contrary to the community's best interests.)

The term utilities can also refer to the set of services provided by these organizations consumed by the public: electricity, natural gas, water, and sewage. Telephony may occasionally be included within the definition.

Read more about Public UtilityNorth America, The UK and Ireland, Developing Countries, Public Utility Quality of Service For Telecommunications

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Famous quotes containing the words utility and/or public:

    Moral sensibilities are nowadays at such cross-purposes that to one man a morality is proved by its utility, while to another its utility refutes it.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)

    The square dance fiddler’s first concern is to carry a tune, but he must carry it loud enough to be heard over the noise of stamping feet, the cries of the “caller,” and the shouts of the dancers. When he fiddles, he “fiddles all over”; feet, hands, knees, head, and eyes are all busy.
    State of Oklahoma, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)