12.Nov.2010 The USA leads the way in binning the book
Acknowledging the inefficiency and environmental cost of mass-produced phone books, US regulators are granting permission for telecoms companies to stop mass producing residential white pages.
Below are edited extracts from a November 11 AP dispatch written by reporters Michel Felberbaum, Samantha Gross and Peter Svensson:
In the past month , New York, Florida and Pennsylvania approved Verizon Communications Inc.’s request to stop distributing residential white pages.
New York-based Verizon’s plan is to seek regulatory approval in all 12 states where it operates land line telephone service. In total, the savings could top 17,000 tons of paper annually throughout Verizon’s service areas, the company said.
Regulators in New York approved Verizon’s request Oct. 14. There, the company estimates it will save about 3,575 tons of paper per year and conserve the energy associated with printing, binding and distributing the directories. The company’s August request with Virginia regulators is estimated to save about 1,640 tons of paper annually.
Since 2007, states that have granted permission to stop printing residential listings or that have requests pending include: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Telephone companies argue that most consumers now use the internet rather than a phonebook to look up a residential number, in particular mobile numbers.
“You probably have a better chance of finding a name quicker if you can just search for it in a database than try to look it up in the white pages,” said Link Hoewing, Verizon’s vice president of Internet and technology policy.
Read the full article here: http://tinyurl.com/26cybdw
The development encourages the UK to keep up with the times, to follow Denmark, the Netherlands and the USA in adopting an opt-in system for phonebooks.
We want the UK Government to pursue environmental best practice with a centralised opt-in system for phonebooks, synchronising the supply of paper directories with demand.