Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Office Hours

Printed phone books on way out; state says digital phonebooks are way to go

The day of reckoning for the white pages phone directory has arrived.

Effective May 17, Washington state's regulators will end the longtime legal requirement that the phone company must deliver printed White Pages directories to all state customers.

The result is that the DexKnows phone books will only be delivered  to people and businesses who request them, according to a release from the state Utilities and Transportation Commission.

For Washington state, the information published in the Dex directory comes by way of Century Link. Here's the page that explains its role in the system.

The commission estimates the change will save 300 tons of unwanted directories from being thrown out each year. The claim is this change reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 4,000 tons.

The publisher of the DexKnows white pages will be required to make directories available electronically.

That publisher can still print directories but if it plans to distribute them, it has to either use the first option -- asking people if they want the book -- or using the second option of creating an opt-in system that also easily gives residents the option of not getting the book.

The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.