No More Phone Books?

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - You'll start to hear more about this in the coming months.

It's a proposal that would stop the distribution of the "White Pages" to residents in many Georgia towns, including Columbus.

For some, the phone book provides necessary information.

"I don't think it's really a good idea. A lot of people don't have computers, I don't have one," Columbus resident David Dotson said.

For others, it's a frivolous inconvenience.

"It wouldn't bother me. I don't know about other people, but it wouldn't bother me," R.D. Morgan said.

No matter how you feel about a phone book, we're all used to seeing them delivered to front porches every year.

But, one of Georgia's primary phone companies has asked the State Public Service Commission for permission to stop distributing directories in certain places.

Bill Edge is the public information officer for the PSC.

"It doesn't mean the end of printed directories. It only means that the proposal would mean the end of mandatory printing and distribution to everybody in the community. But if a customer wanted a printed directory, they could still get one," Edge said.

It's a proposal by AT&T of Georgia to stop automatically delivering publications to cities with a population of more than 50,000 people.

Cities like Columbus, Savannah, Augusta, even Albany.

It's a cost-cutting measure, but how much will AT&T save?

That depends on how many customers go without a phone book.

Last year, AT&T asked for a temporary waiver to stop delivering directories in Atlanta.

The reaction --- only two percent of their customers actually called to order a phone book.

Multiply that savings statewide, and it could save the company millions.

"AT&T has said that very few people actually use it. They mostly end up in landfills," Edge said.

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