Skip to main content

New rule means no more White Pages on doorsteps – unless you want one

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Say goodbye to the sight of phone books being left on your doorsteps ... that is, unless you really want one.

Starting next Monday, the majority of phone customers across Minnesota will be given a choice of whether they want a physical copy of the phone directory, or whether they want to access it electronically.

It follows a variance of state laws granted by Minnesota's Public Utilities Commission to CenturyLink last year, allowing the 270,000 households it serves in Minneapolis to opt in or out of getting a White Pages directory book.

This has been expanded to include other providers, with the PUC saying in an announcement Thursday: "A customer of a local service provider which makes this information available electronically may choose to receive their directories in this manner."

"The new rules provide that individual customers who prefer to receive printed directories can continue to do so," it adds.

Previously, it was mandatory for Minnesota telecom providers to deliver White Pages to each of its customers, but phone books have become increasingly marginalized since cellphones and the internet make it far easier to store and look up numbers.

The New York Times reported in 2011 that only 30 percent of Americans actually use the White Pages. For the most part, phone books are never opened and wind up in the recycling bin, and those that don't cause a public nuisance by piling up on the streets.

"Making electronic directories optional, but not mandatory, best balances the interests of recognizing current means of obtaining information and also reducing waste with the interests of providers and customers who still value printed directories," the PUC said.

Next Up

6874514374_277eba4039_b

After long wait, storms eventually cancel Duran Duran concert

The newly inaugurated Rock 'N Roll Hall of Famers were kicking off their North America tour in Minnesota.

ITT Tech

Student loans cancelled for 1,380 Minnesota ITT Tech students

President Joe Biden moved to cancel the federal debt this week.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 2.17.19 PM

Twine kills 2 young ospreys in Long Lake, Minnesota

One bird was found hanging by its leg from the nest.

Mindy Kiepe

5 Great Danes kill owner on northwest Iowa farm

The dogs were euthanized after the incident.

Becker Public Schools

School district sued by teachers' union over staff 'gag order'

The district has faced heightened scrutiny for months now.

Andrew Luger, former U.S. Attorney of Minnesota

After dozens of arrests, concern over rising 'militaristic' weapons on MN streets

The U.S. Attorney provided an update on the violent crime strategy in collaboration with federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 1.31.41 PM

Outrage after ‘vote with bullets’ remarks from GOP Senate candidate

The candidate's comments were recently brought to light in a video recording.

State Patrol

2 killed after driver crosses center line near Silver Lake

A toddler in the vehicle survived the crash.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 4.12.14 PM

The answer to winter woes: St. Paul's upcoming Palm Springs-style supper club

Take a first look at inside the menu at The Apostle Supper Club.

Related

New rules means more local food at Minneapolis farmers markets

"Under the new rules, at least 60 percent of farmers market vendors will have to be actual farmers, selling the produce they’ve grown," says Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon.