It's The Law: AT&T Has To Give You A Phonebook

from the thanks,-government dept

AT&T has been testing a plan to distribute residential phone books on CD, rather than on paper. That sounds like a great idea that marries environmental benefits with cost savings, and could probably be taken a step further by only distributing the white pages in any format on request. Yellow-pages publishers are struggling as the web steals away their audience, and it's hard to imagine the white pages gets much use any more, either. But there's at least one obstacle standing in the way of the elimination of the white pages: laws in some states that require the company to publish and deliver a residential directory to every one of its customers. I'm hard pressed to remember the last time I used the white pages, and given that they don't list cell phone numbers, they're growing more and more irrelevant to many people. Burdening the phone companies with their production and distribution seems pretty pointless these days, not to mention the environmental impact of millions of the books, the vast majority of which are never used, and only a small portion of which are recycled.

Filed Under: laws, phonebook, waste
Companies: at&t


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  1. identicon
    tubes, 24 Feb 2009 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: Challenge the law.

    Reminds me of a couple Mitch Hedburg jokes.
    "Whenever I walk, people try to hand me out fliers, and when someone tries to hand me out a flier, it's kinda like they're saying, 'Here, you throw this away.'"
    -or-
    "I had a paper route when I was a kid, I was a paper boy. I was supposed to go to 2,000 houses... or 2 dumpsters!"

    But seriously its kinda funny this was just mentioned. I was just talking to AT&T yesterday cause I am moving to a different house & they were telling me when I should receive my phonebooks I told them just to keep them I don't want them or use them anymore & they said I have to have them.

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