New Law Removes Requirement to Provide Phone Books

Say goodbye to telephone directories, or “phone books”. If you remember the days of getting wound up in a ten-foot-long phone cord and understand terms like “busy signal” and “collect calling”, you probably remember the days of easily looking up a phone number in a phone book. You probably also know the words to all the New Kids on the Block songs and have a set of encyclopedias on your bookshelf.

Michigan Senate Bill 372 has sent telephone directory publishing the way of party lines and rotary dials, by removing the requirement to provide a phone book from the Michigan Telecommunications Act.

The Bill was introduced by State Senators Horn, Hollier, and Schmidt, as well as local State Senator Dan Lauwers. The bill was supported by AT & T, Frontier Communications, and Telecommunications Associations of Michigan.

The bill also addresses something from a bygone era, 1-900 numbers, saying that telephone service providers must provide “the option of having access to 900 prefix services blocked”.  Once popular in the 1980s and 90s, 1-900 numbers are functionally obsolete with the development of the internet, but there are still a few “premium numbers” in use.

Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland