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
    Sergio, 24 Feb 2009 @ 12:36pm

    Too young to relate

    Hi, I'm almost 26 years old and have never used a phone book (for what it was intended for). When I moved out of my parents house a few years ago, I already had a cell phone, so I didn't bother signing up for a land line. I cannot think of a time in my life where I couldn't get a hold of someone, although phone communication is maybe 20% of how I communicate. If I ever need a service done (driveway paving comes to mind), I have never had any problems finding companies on-line or through word of mouth.

    I'm not entirely sure if this may be due to living in Rhode Island. Here, there is absolutely nothing that is more than 30 minutes away. I live within a half hour of 5 malls, 9 super markets, 4 Wal-Marts, 3 Targets, 3 Lowes, and 2 Home Depots (and probably 500 Dunkin Donuts, I kid you not). Not to mention hundreds of small shops, mechanics, auto-body shops, hardware stores, barber shops, liquor stores, etc. Although I haven't traveled across this country much, it's my understanding there aren't many areas like this. So, if I need something done, there are probably about 3 places that can do it for me that I drive by on a daily basis where I can just jot down their number

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
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

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