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Business Professors Available to Assess Possible Phone Book Elimination

Contact:  Paul Myer, 581- 1992; Nory Jones, 581-1971; Harold Daniel, 581-1933

ORONO — Three University of Maine business school faculty members are available to discuss the implications of the potential cessation of telephone directory distribution in Maine, as is being done in a growing number of states, as consumers continue shifting to the Internet for information, including telephone numbers.

Tech-savvy tourists and many Maine residents may already be accessing business product and service information, including online yellow pages, through the web by computer, GPS or smart phones, according to Maine Business School marketing professor Harold Daniel.

“The loss will be for those isolated households in rural communities that do not yet have Internet service, or where Internet connections are difficult to obtain,” he says. “Even some urban households will consider the withdrawal of white pages and yellow pages service to be an inconvenience.”

Paul Myer, marketing professor and executive in residence at the business school, suggests that most Maine residents and business would not welcome the extinction of paper telephone directories, should it be proposed in Maine.

“If it happened here, it could represent a potential market opportunity for another entity to provide the service,” Myer says. “Would businesses want to continue to pay for listings and advertisements? Perhaps that’s a task for the non-profit sector.”

Nory Jones, director of graduate business programs and associate professor of management information systems, also is available to discuss the state’s preparedness to offer more widespread broadband access.

They agree that older people not completely at ease with Internet navigation could be among the population of most significantly effected people.

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