In most cases, the utility company will require a weatherproof disconnect right after the meter connection. This is often referred to as a safety switch or service disconnect. This allows the homeowner to disconnect the power from the utility company from the outside of the house without having to get to the electrical panel.
A great reason for this would be a house fire. The fire department can kill the power from outside the home without entering the home. This allows them to spray water on a fire without worrying about being electrocuted.