NEW YORK: Verizon voiced its opposition to the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality ruling by issuing a statement in Morse code, calling the decision "antiquated."
The FCC approved the net neutrality policy by a 3-2 vote on Thursday. The decision is intended to reclassify broadband as a utility and ensure there is no division on the Internet such as fast and slow lanes, throttling, and content blocking.
Verizon responded with a post on its policy blog entitled, "FCC’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ Move Imposes 1930s Rules on the Internet." Written by Michael Glover, the company’s SVP of public policy and government affairs, the statement was published first in Morse code and then translated into English using a typewriter font.
"The regulations in question are based on a set of rules that were passed by Congress in 1934, so we were trying to reinforce this notion that the 20th century rules are being shoehorned onto a 21st century technology and show the absurdity of it," Ed McFadden, VP for external communications at Verizon, told PRWeek. "We thought that highlighting it with technology of the day might be a way to get our message picked up a little bit more."
Glover said in the statement that Verizon is committed "to an open Internet that provides consumers with competitive broadband choices and Internet access when, where, and how they want."
"Today’s decision by the FCC to encumber broadband Internet services with badly antiquated regulations is a radical step that presages a time of uncertainty for consumers, innovators and investors," he said. "Over the past two decades a bipartisan, light- touch policy approach unleashed unprecedented investment and enabled the broadband Internet age consumers now enjoy."
McFadden said the response on Twitter to Verizon’s message has been "colorful."
"I have been getting a lot of calls pointing out area codes didn’t exist in 1934, so I shouldn’t have included it on my phone number," he said. "It is clear some people didn’t see the humor in it."
Some PR pros and marketers on Twitter praised Verizon’s quirky comms strategy:
Give Verizon PR credit for ironic use of typewriter font in its claim that FCC vote is step backward. pic.twitter.com/Zc8xs8aq72— Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) February 26, 2015