I read this local story the other day and have been scratching my head over it:
Rising environmental sensitivity and the Internet may soon make that dog-eared Cincinnati Bell White Pages directory a thing of the past.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on Wednesday unanimously approved allowing Bell’s recently launched online White Pages at Zoomtown.com to be its preferred method of directory assistance.
Bell said it is considering requesting a similar change in Kentucky.
Bell, which distributes about 1 million White Pages annually, still will make printed books available, but customers will have to ask for one.
The action comes amid growing environmental opposition over printing millions of pages of telephone directories. Legislation has been introduced in several states to limit distribution of phone directories only to customers who request them.
The action affects only Bell’s White Pages and not the Yellow Pages, which is advertiser supported.
There is an environmental friendly feel to this decision, but should that merit such a change?
Currently the United States rates 17th in the world when it comes to broadband penetration, down from 15th just one year ago. The Cincinnati area has two main broadband providers – Cincinnati Bell and Time Warner Cable. Time Warner has much more coverage than Cincinnati Bell. Yet there are still larger areas of the greater Cincinnati area with no broadband coverage. I’m right on the border of one of those areas (luckily just inside). So if Cincinnati Bell wants to “save money” by cutting the distribution of their white pages, then shouldn’t they also be forced to increase their broadband coverage?
When Cincinnati Bell first started the DSL service some 10 years ago, they were saying that their entire coverage area would be able to get broadband within five years. Well double that has passed, and DSL isn’t available where I live. For the past eight years, every time I check I get a page saying “it is coming soon”. Eight years is “soon”?
We really need to invest in our infrastructure, and with the fast paced changes of the wired world, that needs to include providing better broadband coverage to the country. The United States is even further behind when it comes to DSL coverage. This is a sad state of our nation, the nation that pioneered the internet. We had great vision and innovation, then let it all go. Broadband should be available to everyone and also be affordable. And I’m not talking about that over priced satellite internet.