New Yorkers will no longer be greeted by the Verizon phone book on their doorsteps.
The company won approval from state regulators Thursday to stop printing and delivering business White Pages in New York, a cost-saving and environmentally conscious move as more people search online to track down phone numbers. The decision comes six years after the state’s Public Service Commission gave Verizon Communications Inc. permission to cease publication of residential White Pages, which the carrier estimates has eliminated 13,600 tons of paper waste a year.
Phone books were once a cash cow for phone operators, generating reliable profits as businesses paid for ads that were right under consumers’ fingertips as they looked for local stores and services. Yet, with the rise of the internet, phone companies like Verizon and AT&T Inc. cut their exposure in the phone-book business through spinoffs and sales.
The ruling applies only to Verizon, the state’s dominant phone company. The other 38 local phone operators in New York, including Frontier Communications Corp. and Windstream Holdings Inc., must continue to print and deliver directories unless they petition the PSC for a waiver.
In 2015, Verizon and its partners delivered 6.3 million business directories in New York. Business listings will still be available online, and customers can still request free printed listings.