July 2, 2009

A digital age victim: The phone directory

The digital age may soon lay waste to another victim of modernization: The telephone directory, which is no longer in demand in many U.S. homes.

The Missouri Public Service Commission is conducting hearings on the idea of relieving AT&T of the mandate to deliver the White Pages to every customer.

The Yellow Pages would still be delivered and phone subscribers could still request an edition of the White Pages of residential listings free of charge. After dropping the White Pages in Atlanta, however, only 1 percent of the customers requested a phone book, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported Thursday.

Closing out the White Pages and cutting back on the paper use is an idea whose time has come, AT&T spokesman Kerry Hibbs said.

But some have complained the idea is premature.

If we do not have the White Pages we cannot find anything, an elderly couple without a computer told the commission.