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


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2009 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Challenge the law.

    That's the point, they do it without a subscription. They are basically littering on your property.

    I was outside one day and the lady yelled, "Compliments of the News and Observer" and threw it in my yard. I ran over and handed it back to her, and explained I didn't want it. She was genuinely puzzled (no sir, it's free) until I explained that I never read the paper and this is just trash for me to clean up.

    Why can't they just put it in the mailbox?

    BTW, the Mitch Hedberg jokes fit perfectly. Funny stuff.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.