PSC APPROVES AT&T REQUEST TO REDUCE WHITE PAGES DISTRIBUTION

By a 4-1 vote yesterday the Louisiana Public Service Commission approved a request by telephone service provider AT&T to discontinue automatic distribution of its residential telephone directory but continue to provide the volume to consumers upon request.

AT&T representatives appeared before the Commission at its April meeting to make the request, citing cost savings that can be passed along to consumers through the deployment of enhanced communications technologies throughout the state.

“I was and am fully supportive of this initiative,” said District 1 Commissioner Eric Skrmetta.  “By saving money and natural resources by discontinuing the production of millions of these books, AT&T will have more resources to put into developing infrastructure and building better service operations throughout Louisiana, particularly in areas that are currently underserved.  In the age of the Internet, a very small percentage of people utilize the White Pages directory.  For those who do, the product will still be available at no charge.  The savings to the company will have the long-term result of improving service to these consumers – including the development of better wireless and residential Internet access in our rural communities.”

Only District 5 Commissioner Foster Campbell voted against the measure.

AT&T staff have not yet scheduled the phase-out of White Pages distribution, but the company will likely continue distribution through 2012.  When the automatic home delivery is discontinued, consumers who wish to receive a free copy may contact the company at 1-866-329-7118 to request a paper or a CD-ROM version of the directory.  Consumers can also submit such a request online at www.att.com/mydirectories or access White Pages residential listings online at www.realpageslive.com.  Consumers who do not wish to receive the book but prefer to find numbers without using the Internet can call 1-800-FREE411 (800-373-3411) or 1-800-YELLOWPAGES (800-935-5697).

For more information about Commissioner Skrmetta, visit wwwEricSkrmetta.com or find him on Facebook.  Consumers can also contact him at 1-800-228-9368.