a branch of economic statistics that studies the development of communications networks and the activity of enterprises for postal, telegraph, and telephone communications and for radio and television broadcasting.
In the USSR, communications statistics includes statistics on the development and layout of the networks for the various types of communications; these networks consist of stations, as well as structures and points along the lines. Communications statistics also encompasses statistics on communications output (services), on the quality of the service rendered to the national economy and population and on the quality of communications output (speed, accuracy, and reliability of information transmission), and on labor resources, labor productivity, and wages. In addition, this branch includes statistics on fixed productive assets, on capital construction, on the development and introduction of new technology, on material and technical supply, on the prime cost of communications output, and on communications finances.
Communications statistics, through its far-reaching system of preparative recording, creates a reliable basis for primary statistical study. It meets the needs of management and aids in the planning and economic analysis related to the development of means of communication and to the activities of communications enterprises. To provide these services, communications statistics has set up a system of indexes and statistical reporting and carries out numerous sample surveys to study, for example, the structure of enterprise work loads, the flow of mail, telegraph messages, and telephone calls, and the structure of communications services by consumption and rate. The system of indexes and methods used in Soviet communications statistics has been adopted in many socialist countries.
The capitalist countries do not have comprehensive communications statistics. Statistical studies and data pertaining to communications statistics are scattered among separate capitalist monopolies competing with one another; the information is uncoordinated. Governmental communications statistics is limited in scope, encompassing only certain sectors of communications (primarily postal and telegraph, usually run by the state); even here, statistics are compiled on only a few indexes.