AT&T wants to stop residential white pages delivery in Louisiana

What's next, Sears catalogs?

AT&T (NYSE: T), citing the growth of online resources, wants to stop delivering white pages to every Louisiana household. Those who want the residential phone listings could specifically request a directory or a CD ROM.

The decision only affects residential listings, not advertiser-supported yellow pages or the business version of the white pages, both of which would continue to be dropped off at customer homes, The Associated Press reported.

"The traditional residential white page telephone directory no longer provides the same utility it once did as customers are now turning less and less to the residential white pages directory and are looking to online and other resources for listing information," AT&T's request to the Louisiana Public Service Commission said.

Nonsense--or words of that nature--state Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell said. AT&T just wants to make more money.

"What do you think people are going to do when you take their telephone directory away?" he asked, before providing his own answer. "They're going to call 411 and pay $1.50. If they don't have a computer, they're going to call 411."

AT&T claims that "at least" 19 states have removed mandatory directory delivery and that less than 1 percent of customers who did not get a directory in 75 affected markets requested one. AT&T declined to say how much it spends annually on its white pages and how many customers it has in Louisiana but carrier spokeswoman Kim Allen noted that the carrier would rather use the directory money to upgrade broadband services.

Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway sees a green aspect to the idea. "I think it would be good environmentally," he said. "Every school I know goes through collecting phone books for recycling,"

For more:
- see this AP story

Related articles:
Harris: 87% of Americans surveyed prefer opt-in for residential white pages delivery
FairPoint has no plans to stop delivering white pages in New Hampshire
Verizon petitions Maryland, Virginia regulators to stop printing white pages
AT&T sells big portion of its directory business to Cerberus Capital
AT&T hopes to fetch $1.5B by selling stake in its Yellow Pages business

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