Monday, October 1, 2007

New Phone Books Arrive. Why?

Recently our new phone books arrived. Even though The Green Miles and his roommate don't have a land-line phone, we still get both the Yellow Pages and White Pages delivered.

The Internet has rendered phone books obsolete. We only use them a few times a year at this point, doing most of our searching online. At least the books themselves are recyclable; the plastic bags they come in are not.

Fortunately AT&T is experimenting with getting rid of them:
The [North Carolina] utilities commission requires phone providers to deliver a directory about once every year. AT&T wants to change that requirement so that it is only required to "publish" the listings.

Metcalf said internal research shows that customers rarely use the White Pages as they increasingly turn to the Internet for basic phone listings. If all customers in Raleigh and Charlotte switched to the Web-based version, AT&T estimates that it will save 4 million pounds of waste each year.

"AT&T's proposal is a creative and innovative approach to the problem of solid waste," said state Sen. Janet Cowell, D-Wake.

Metcalf declined to say how much money the company will save by changing the service. Bob Bennink, the general counsel for the North Carolina Utilities Commission, said the agency will consider the issue at a mid-October meeting.
Anyone know if Virginia requires phone companies to deliver phone books?
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