Verizon is all keyed up over common carrier rules

28 March 2015 by Steve Blum
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I gotta give Verizon credit: it posted its slagging reaction to the FCC’s decision to impose common carrier rules on Internet service and infrastructure in Morse code. Sorta. I also gotta make the geek points that 1. the proper code of the “era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph” is American Morse, not the International Morse that Verizon uses, and 2. regardless of flavor, Morse code is a means of audible communication – rendering it via typed out dots and dashes is something only a lid would do.

In the interest of public service, here’s the proper version…

Verizon’s accusation that the new rules were written back then was kind of a cheap shot, since the FCC is phasing out its telegraph company rules and all.

But if there’s one place where you might still find a roomful of people who wouldn’t have any trouble reading Verizon’s traffic, it’s the FCC. At the field office in the U.S. custom house on Battery Street in San Francisco many (many) years ago, the paging system consisted of a giant code key and oscillator connected to the PA system. The receptionist would bang out the initials of whomever you were there to see, and he’d come up to the counter. Don’t bet those days are gone – you still have to pass a code test to get a radiotelegraph operator’s license.

Full disclosure: although I did read the release without outside assistance and I could probably dig my old brass straight key out of the shed, my code practice oscillator – built from scrounged parts and some odds and ends from Radio Shack, may it rest in peace – is long gone. I used Stephen Phillips’ online Morse Code Translator to produce the audio file. 73 OM.