Group Plans Fight Against Eliminating White Pages

Internet Convenience Reducing Need For Directories

The Internet age is causing the white pages to vanish from Hoosier homes, but one group said it would fight eliminating the directories altogether.

New York, Pennsylvania and Florida have given Verizon permission to stop distributing white pages there, while Virginia will decide the issue next week.

AT&T Indiana wouldn't say how many white pages it printed this year or before it discontinued mass distribution two years ago, but it said only 2 percent of residential customers requested a directory in the past year, 6News' Norman Cox reported.

"Anyone who would like a complimentary directory, just give us a call and we'll have it delivered to you," said AT&T spokesman Brad Rateike.

The Citizens Action Coalition, a consumer group that has battled the phone industry, said it would fight to keep the white pages from being discontinued completely.

CAC said it disagrees with the assumption that everyone has computer access.

"What you have going on in the city of Indianapolis is a reduction in the number of hours that libraries are open and folks have access to public computers, both in the evening time and over the weekend," said CAC's Kerwin Olson.

AT&T Indiana said it has no intention of discontinuing the white pages at this time.

The company would not need state approval to cut the service as phone companies have been seeking in other states due to the telephone deregulation bill passed several years ago by the Legislature.

AT&T Indiana does still distribute the yellow pages to all customers. Those who want white pages are asked to call 866-329-7118.

The company is sponsoring a recycling program in which 11 schools compete to collect the most out-of-date phone books before Dec. 3.

A list of drop-off locations can be found here.