Cincinnati Bell seeks FCC permission to shut down telegraph services

Cincinnati Bell has asked the FCC for permission to shut down its Telegraph Grade Service in its serving area, marking the end of a bygone communications era dating back to the 1800s.

The telco's telegraph service is an unconditioned channel capable of transmitting binary signals at a rate of 0-75 baud or 0-150 baud in half-duplex or duplex operation.

In an FCC filing, Cincinnati Bell said that shutting down the service would not have any effect as no one currently uses the service.

"There are currently no customers for CBT's Telegraph Service in its service area," Cincinnati Bell said in a FCC filing. "The public convenience and necessity will not be impaired by this proposed service discontinuance since there is no demand for this service."

Cincinnati Bell added that providing a "customer notice of the discontinuance on Telegraph Service in the CBT service area is inapplicable because CBT does not currently have any customers for this service."

Per the required FCC rules, Cincinnati Bell sent copies of the discontinuance application via first class U.S. Mail to the governors of Ohio and Kentucky, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, and the Special Assistant for Telecommunications for the Secretary of Defense.

Telegraph service is just one of several services that telcos have sought to discontinue in recent years as customers have migrated off of legacy TDM to IP-based services.

Fellow telco Verizon (NYSE: VZ) asked the FCC for permission to stop offering postpaid calling card and personal 800 services offered via its MCI subsidiary in February.

Likewise, AT&T (NYSE: T) recently sought permission from the FCC to stop offering a number of legacy operator services due to low usage. Earlier, AT&T sought permission to stop offering BellSouth analog video service in Carbon Hill, Ala., and Kings Point, Fla.

For more:
- see this FCC filing (PDF)

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