Telegrams, Smoke Signals and Other History Lessons


Give it some time and everything old will become new again.

I’m too young to remember the telegram but from what I’ve read, it’s a short concise message to someone far away. Telegram style is a way of writing that attempts to abbreviate words and pack as much information into the shortest possible number of words and or characters as possible.

Sound familiar?

Incidentally, you can still send telegrams if you have distant relatives that don’t respond to telephone calls, emails, fax or smoke signal.

Way back in 1886, some people were using the telephone and other people were trying to find a fair way to make those people pay for it. Angry diatribes printed in the newspapers were common, subscribers were up in arms over ridiculous fees and nobody could agree on whether usage based billing was justified.

Sound familiar?

Remember calling cards? You may have used them in college to keep long distance relationships intact or to call home from a European phone booth. Well, they’re back! And they are not only a solution for 25 cent a minute mobile long distance charges, they are a way to make a statement about your statement. In Canada, fair competition regulated by the CRTC, is an effort by the government to encourage competition and fair pricing in technology. However, Canadians are still paying some of the world’s highest cell phone bills.

Calling cards are a backwards way of saying yes to savings and no to outrageous fees.

Here’s how:

  • Invest $20 in a 900 minute calling card.
  • Download a free iphone app that remembers and auto-dials the access number and PIN. It even allows you to customize a timed response based on the voice prompts you receive when you dial in.
  • Never pay carrier fees for long distance again!

Whether you’re in Canada or the U.S. this is an easy way to take advantage of history repeating itself.