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
    erm, 24 Feb 2009 @ 10:35am

    some of us are more frugal than you

    There are still a lot of people who don't want to spend a lot of money each month on communications, or don't feel the need to say in touch all the time.

    I use a long distance provider (actually a reseller) that charges 3 cents a minute, less if you talk to somebody else that also uses them. I don't make enough calls to justify signing up for a plan that charges me a fixed rate per month. I find the per minute costs of a cell phone ludicrous.

    Where I live the main choices for Internet access are the cable company or DSL. I save a good bit by using DSL with a regional ISP. My main gripe is that I can't get naked DSL, I rarely make local calls.

    I like having a phone book. Most of the time when I lookup a number I'm calling a business. Typically I don't know what business I want to call, and the additional information in the yellow pages is useful.

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