The White Pages Fade to Black

Enjoy the sight of phone books piling up on your doorstep while you can. Last week, Verizon (Stock Quote: VZ) became the latest phone company to ask the government for permission to reduce its distribution of the White Pages.

“Verizon, the dominant local phone company in the state, asked regulators on Friday to allow it to end the annual delivery of millions of White Pages to all of its customers in New York. The company estimates that it would save nearly 5,000 tons of paper by ending the automatic distribution of the books,” The New York Times reports.

According to the Times, just one of every nine households in the country actually uses their phone books. For most, the Internet and smart phones have made the White Pages obsolete.

Over the last year, several phone companies have stopped delivering the White Pages in various cities, unless it was specifically requested by customers. AT&T (Stock Quote: T) no longer has automatic delivery in Louisville, Austin and Atlanta, and is looking to do the same in other locations. Cincinnati Bell has stopped delivering in Kentucky and Ohio all together.

For the time being, these same companies will continue to deliver the Yellow Pages, despite some criticisms from environmental groups that these too are a waste of paper. However, it is possible to opt-out of getting the Yellow Pages on your own.

So far, 2010 is shaping up to be a bad year for old timey relics. Last month, Sony announced it would stop producing the floppy disc, effectively ending its long life.  That decision upset many of our readers who still use floppy discs or at least feel nostalgic about them. Do you think that the White Pages should still be printed, or has it become unnecessary? Let us know in the comments.

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