AD Main Menu

Judge backs request to end mass distribution of residential phone books

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

The mass distribution of phone book white pages that list residents’ landlines may soon become a thing of the past, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.

Alaska Communications has asked the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) to review a state law that requires the mass distribution of white pages, arguing that the practice is unwarranted in an age where information is available online, citing environmental costs and the hassle of white pages delivery.

This is the second time the company has asked the RCA to review the law. They rejected the request in November 2011 to review it more thoroughly.

Alaska Communications and GCI both testified to the RCA that as landlines fall to the wayside in favor of wireless phones, white page listings have become less relevant, as cell phones aren’t listed in phone books. In addition, the companies say that at least 40 percent of landline users don’t want their numbers listed.

Administrative law judge John P. Wood submitted an opinion last month in favor of the request, agreeing with the arguments presented by the telecommunications companies.

“The reliance on paperbound directories has declined while complaints about the automatic delivery of directories have increased,” he wrote.

Yellow pages, government pages and business white pages would not be affected by the ruling. Folks would request delivery of the white pages, and receive them until opting out.

The RCA has until Dec. 28 to review the request.

Read more at the News-Miner.