The two Chautauqua County companies are two of four in the state granted the permission
Commission Chair Rory Christian said in a release that, “Ending distribution of old-fashioned telephone books makes perfect economic and environmental sense. Customers today flip through the internet for phone numbers; they no longer bother to page through a phone book.”
The PSC’s orders authorize the companies to supply free on-line digital format directories and to print directories for customers who request them without charge. The companies must notify each customer and post information on their websites instructing customers on how they can access the online directory and/or obtain a printed directory.
Christian said printed directories have become less useful over time due to the massive shift of consumers from traditional wireline to internet and wireless services. He said the elimination of telephone books from the four small companies equates to more than two tons of paper per year that will be removed from local waste streams.
Up until PSC’s orders the companies had been required to produce and distribute phone books that included business listings, along with yellow pages, government offices and consumer guide pages. The Commission has granted similar requests from other telephone companies over the years to discontinue blanket distribution of their directories.
There are 22 small telephone companies still providing telephone directories to all customers on a general basis.