Telecommunications maintenance workers are pretty much preoccupied with the myriad ways electricity manages to escape the confinement provided by something called "insulation". A spark represents a major failure of some kind, a catastrophic release of electrical power that can physically damage equipment, let alone cause loss of power and/or signal.
When I am using any kind of electronic communication device, the very last thing I want to see is a spark. Nor is the other association, that of a spark of fire, particularly favourable, since we all know the danger of flying sparks from a fire.
I did find one comment made at the time, which my statement above has unsurprisingly echoed, and I congratulate Impact PR consultant Fleur Revell for her insightful quote, "The last thing I'm sure anyone would want to see in their home telecommunications hardware is a spark."
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"Spark" is also very backward-looking, reminiscent more of giant Van de Graaff generators, and the vivification of Frankenstein's monster with lightning, than the controlled use of electricity.
I would have thought a name associated with the light-oriented future of the industry would have been better, particularly as it would come pre-loaded with the positive associations of light banning darkness, enlightenment, etc. Although they have been beaten already by France's Alcatel-Lucent, and Clear.
Perhaps "Beam" with its association of contained light, a guiding lighthouse, and a nice expression?
Postscript: A legal pitfall for the company
However, once more than a few were in use problems arose.
Wikipedia: "Another problem with the spark transmitter was a result of the shape of the waveform produced by each burst of electromagnetic radiation. These transmitters radiated an extremely "dirty" wide band signal which could greatly interfere with the reception of other transmissions on nearby frequencies. Receiving sets located relatively close to such a transmitter would have entire sections of a band masked by this wide band noise."
As a result of this problem laws were passed to regulate radio wave production.
Radiocommunications Regulations 2001
35. Interference with radiocommunications
If the chief executive is satisfied that a minimum field strength, as prescribed by a notice in the Gazette, is present at the location of a radiocommunication receiver that is suffering harmful interference from interfering equipment, the chief executive may, by notice in writing to the person operating the interfering equipment, require that person to cease operating the equipment or to modify the operation of the equipment.
6. Prohibition on transmission of radio waves
(3) The transmission of radio waves is prohibited except in accordance with one of the following:
(a) a radio licence:
(b) a general user radio licence:
(c) an exemption
Thus we can see that the creation of large SPARKs
is illegal in New Zealand!