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
    Art, 24 Feb 2009 @ 4:28am


    People must have decent online directories. Personally I've never found online white or yellow pages to be as efficient as paper ones.

    Sure the white pages have a few more numbers and seem slightly more up to date, but no more than I use them I can pick up a phone book and thumb to the correct page as quickly as I can open a browser window, type the url, select my area, type the name, and hit enter. That's especially true, like an order of magnitude or more's difference, if my computer isn't already on.

    The online yellow pages are far, far, worse than the carrier's paper version. They're full of advertising, cover way too broad an area, and so on. Hell, they're on par with being as bad as all the third party area directories we get that don't include half the local businesses but seem to include others from every surrounding county for 50 miles.

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