Say you need to find the phone number of a paving contractor named Ernie's somewhere around Boston. Or you want a list of exterminators in the 10025 zip-code area of Manhattan. Until now, the only way to get that information electronically was by going to France and using the Minitel service, which Nynex supplies information to. Back in the U.S., Nynex and the other Baby Bells created in the 1984 breakup of American Telephone & Telegraph Co.'s Bell System were barred from providing such on-line information services--until last Oct. 7, when the restriction was lifted.
Now, using Minitel's computers, Nynex is the first Baby Bell to offer an on-line Yellow Pages. Nynex NortheastAccess contains more data than in the French trial--1.7 million listings of business names, addresses, and phone numbers throughout New York and New England. They can be found by state, business category, city, and zip code. Available starting Feb. 19, the electronic Yellow Pages is accessible at 61 cents a minute from any PC or Minitel terminal. Nynex hopes to add advertising text and graphics to the listings eventually.