Future of phone books in Louisiana under review

Future of phone books in Louisiana under review

LOUISIANA (KSLA) - Remember phone books? Well, they might be making a comeback.

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell is calling for a review of the phone book phase out introduced in 2012, according to a news release.

Five years ago, utility regulators agreed to release the telephone industry from the requirement that residential phone books be distributed to all customers.

"The companies said they would deliver a phone book to any customer who asked for one," Campbell said in a news release.  "I want to know if that promise has been kept."

Campbell also wants to know how much money companies have saved by not printing and distributing phone books.

In 2012, Campbell was the only one to vote no when the five-member Louisiana Public Service Commission agreed to delete residential phone books from the "Universal Service" requirements that all Louisiana telephone providers must meet.

Campbell said that doing away with the people's pages in the phone book was about saving money for customers.

AT&T and other telephone providers said that customer were using online sources for telephone numbers. A representative with AT&T said that the white-pages no longer provides the same utility that it once did.

"Not everybody owns a computer," Campbell said. "And even when they can afford one, rural and suburban residents often cannot get good Internet service because companies like AT&T have stopped investing in broadband expansion."

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