Verizon Ends Its Era of Phone Books in New York

Photograph by Mark Wilson Getty Images

With all of the technology we have today, finding a phone book on your door step seems like quite the anachronism. Apparently Verizon, New York State’s largest telephone company, thought so, too.

The New York State Public Service Commission has reportedly granted Verizon (VZ) and its directory publisher permission to stop printing and delivering business telephone books to its customers, according to WWNY-TV, a Fox affiliate that serves Northern New York and Southeast Ontario. The news comes after New York gave permission to Verizon in 2010 to stop delivering phone books to residential listings.

As more and more customers are getting listings from the Internet, it leads to thousands of discarded phone books. According to WWNY-TV, the company delivered 6.3 million business directories last year. Verizon estimates that by eliminating the printing of massive phone books it will save 13,600 tons of paper per year from entering the waste system.

The printing won’t stop completely, however, as Verizon will still delver business or residential directories to customers who request a printed copy, WWNY-TV reported.


Verizon will also no longer be required to print and deliver “white page” directories that include listings of business customers, along with government phone listings, yellow page advertisements and consumer guide pages.

The recent PSC decision affects only Verizon. According to WWNY-TV, New York’s 38 smaller local telephone companies, such as Frontier, Windstream and Taconic, still have to provide printed directories unless they successfully petition the PSC for a change.

To access a searchable database of Verizon’s white-page directories, you can look here.

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