1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Developments in technology have eroded some of the natural monopoly aspects of traditional public utilities.For instance, electricity generation, electricity retailing, telecommunication, some types of public transit and postal services have become competitive in some countries and the trend towards liberalization, deregulation and privatization of public utilities is growing. However, the infrastructure used to distribute most utility products and services has remained largely monopolistic.
Public utilities can be privately owned or publicly owned. Publicly owned utilities include cooperative and municipal utilities. Municipalutilities may actually include territories outside of city limits or may not even serve the entire city. Cooperative utilities are owned by the customers they serve. They are usually found in rural areas. Publicly owned utilities are non-profitable Private utilities, also called investor-owned utilities, are owned by investors,and operate for profit, often referred to as a rate of return. Public utilities provide services at the consumer level, be it residential, commercial, or industrial consumer. In turn, utilities and very large consumers buy and sell electricity at the wholesale level through a network of RTOs and ISOs within one of three grids, the eastern grid, Texas, which is a single ISO, and the western grid. The concept of ‘services of general interest’ usually employed within the European Union to refer to essential services subject to specific public-service obligations, also finds its counterpart in the United States (Defeuilley, 1999).
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PUBLIC UTILITIES AND STUDENTS PERFORMANCES IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS; A CASE STUDY OF AKWA IBOM STATE UNIVERSITY