One hundred and sixty years ago, the technology of the telegraph was very hot. Imagine, being able to send cross-country messages is less than a day. Western Union built its first transcontinental telegraph line in 1861 which, at the time, was as incredible as the computer when it first arrived. But technology doesn't stay relevant forever and Western Union sent its last telegraph 10 years ago - back in 2006.
The FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) have not kept pace with the demise of the telegram. It is replete with references to the obsolete technology. FAR Part 14 (Sealed Bidding) contains at least eight references to telegrams. Part 49 dealing with contract terminations contains many references including instructions for the Government to expedite a termination notice using telegram. Additionally, many contract clauses (Part 52) contain references to telegrams.
The FAR Councils are finally getting around to removing references to outdated technology. It published a final rule today (November 18, 2016) to replace terms such as "telegram" and "telegraph" with more generic references to "electronic communications".
Someday the term "electronic communications" will seem as quaint as word "telegram" does today. When we are all using telepathy to communicate with one another, the FAR councils will be at it again, replacing "electronic communications" with a more up-to-date term.
You can read the final notice here.