Birthplace of Phone Book Unhappy About Its Demise - NBC Connecticut

Birthplace of Phone Book Unhappy About Its Demise



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    Thanks to the Internet, you can find better uses for that relic known as the phone book.

    What's black and white and read all over? Apparently not the phone book.

    Regulators in many states are giving phone companies permission to stop printing residential listings since fewer people are using them.

    It's something that's not sitting well in New Haven, the Connecticut city that published the very first phone book.

    "I don't like the idea, absolutely not," Salvatore Criscuolo told the New Haven Register. "There's a lot of older people who dont' have cell phones. They need the phone book," he said.

    Some see it as part of an anti-elderly trend, according to the Register.

    In states where permission has been granted to stop printing the book, companies are still printing the books, but customer have to request them.

    In areas where phone books go out to only people who request them, only 2 percent opt for the old-school way of looking up phone numbers, AT&T told the Register.

    Some say the problem with phone books is that they use tons of paper, don't list cell phone numbers and are increasingly irrelevant in a day and age of the Internet.

    New York, Florida and Pennsylvania recently approved requests to halt distribution of the white pages. In Connecticut, phone books are being printed, but AT&T will “continue to evaluate” the issue.

    New Haven District Telephone published the first phonebook on Feb. 21, 1878, about two years after the telephone was invented. It had 50 named.