The Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) has ruled that the automatic distribution of residential phone directories, otherwise known as residental "white pages," will end in four Alaska cities, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.
Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and the Kenai Peninsula will be affected by the change, which will be on a three-year interim basis. But the white pages are not gone forever-forever; customers will still be able to request them from communications companies. Government pages, business white pages and yellow pages are not affected by the decision.
In November, Alaska Communications and GCI both testified to the RCA that as landlines fall to the wayside in favor of wireless phones, white-pages listings have become less relevant, as cell phones aren't listed in phone books. In addition, the companies said that at least 40 percent of landline users don't want their numbers listed and that the printing and distribution of directories is redundant and often causes frustration for consumers.
Alaska Communications agreed that the decision was a good one and plans to begin notifying customers of the opt out, but it's not yet clear if the company will quit distribution right away or hang on for another cycle of deliveries. Alaska Communications spokeswoman Heather Cavanaugh told the News-Miner that the decision to end distribution is "the right thing" for both customers and the environment.