herald

Thursday 23 January 2020

Number's up as current phonebook to be the last one printed

Eir said book was ‘obsolete’
Eir said book was ‘obsolete’

The number appears to be up for telephone directories with the current 2019/2020 phonebook likely to be the final edition.

ComReg, the telecom regulator, has signalled it favours removing the requirement on Eir to make a printed version of the directory available to all landline subscribers.

Fewer than 2,400 copies of the latest phonebook have been ordered since last year's decision that a free printed local area directory would no longer be provided to subscribers.

Most people who requested a directory collected it free of charge from an Eir store, with only 298 paying the €4.70 charge to have it delivered to their home.

Eir has calculated that it cost €39.02 to print each copy. While Eir was allowed to charge a distribution fee for delivery of the directory, ComReg ruled that it could not cannot charge subscribers for printing and packaging costs.

Uneconomical

ComReg said it regarded the number of requests for the directory as "very low".

Consumers were told this year that the new phonebook would only be delivered if requested.

Eir had sought the change in policy on the basis that the provision of a printed directory had become uneconomical, due to falling advertising revenues and increased costs.

The company described the phonebook as "obsolete and unnecessary".

Although the figure is down from €1.4m in 2014, Eir estimated the total cost of providing the 2019/2020 edition at €109,256.

Where several million copies of directories were once printed annually, ComReg said only 2,800 of the latest edition were printed, including 890 for the 01 Dublin area.

A survey of people who ordered the 2019/2020 directory revealed that 83pc were over 65 years of age, while 78pc had never used an online directory. One third did not have internet access in their home.

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