Communications Center

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Communications Center


a generalized concept characterizing the structure and organization of communications in the USSR and denoting (1) a component of a communications network, designed to centralize and distribute the flow of message traffic for telegraph, telephone, and postal communications, and (2) a communications agency that provides various services to the population, industrial enterprises, organizations, and institutions.

Network communications centers. Intercity telegraph and telephone communications use networks with branch connections, constructed on the basis of three types of communications centers: (1) primary centers, the functions of which are carried out by telegraphs and intercity telephone central offices in many major cities and in the administrative centers of certain oblasts and krais; (2) oblast centers, which are large-capacity telegraph stations and intercity automatic central offices of oblast centers; and (3) raion centers, which are small-capacity telegraph stations and large raion automatic central offices.

Primary centers are important in the organization of direct communications between oblast and raion communications centers. Oblast centers have vital functions in the organization of communications between raion communications centers within the oblast, as well as in the establishment of alternate routes between communications centers in different oblasts and within the oblast. Raion centers are centers for raion or rural communications networks; they are linked with their respective oblast communications centers and, along individual routes, with communications centers in selected cities and with other raion centers.

The communications center is one of the most important components of a telephone or telegraph network. It is vital to the principal functions of the network, that is, the organization of temporary and/or permanent connections (via distributing frames) in standard communications channels and circuits belonging to various communications lines. It also tunes channels and bypasses faulty lines. The functions of a telegraph communications center also include technical operations for the retransmission and reproduction of telegrams and the simultaneous transmission of telegrams from one communications center to several other centers.

The equipment used in a communications center and the equipment layout depend on the type of communications center. The equipment for a small-capacity center may be housed in a single building. Large communications centers may require several buildings, including separate facilities for the control room, switching and control systems, crossovers, communications channels, repair shops, and laboratories. A communications center often includes radio receiving and transmitting centers, located outside city limits and linked with the centers in the city. Telephone, telegraph, radio-broadcasting, video-telephone, and television signals are transmitted from and relayed to communications centers.

The principal service characteristics of a communications center include the number of switchable channels, the load capacity of the switching equipment, and the volume of information that can be processed. A mobile communications center, for example, on board a ship, is additionally classified according to the routing of communications traffic and the period of use, that is, the length of time communication is maintained with a shore station.

Wired broadcasting centers. Communications centers for wired networks have technical facilities for broadcasting audio programs to subscribers via wired networks. The service may be independent or part of a telephone system.

Postal communications centers. Postal communications centers may be classified as primary, oblast, city, interraion, or intraraion centers. They include railroad and city main post offices, postal delivery offices, and communications offices that can handle the direct exchange of postal dispatches with mail cars, airplanes, and ocean liners or that are located along postal routes. Primary and oblast communications centers, together with their connecting postal routes, form the main postal communications network. City communications centers are the basic link in city postal communications: they have a direct postal connection to communications offices, stations, and airports within the city. Oblast communications centers, together with raion and interraion centers, constitute an intra-oblast postal communications system. Intraraion communication centers are organized within an administrative raion for the purpose of speeding up postal delivery.

Communications agencies. Communications centers that function as communications agencies are integrated centers, as opposed to postal and telephone centers, which are specialized. In addition to providing postal, telephone, telegraph, and other services, such communications centers organize the distribution of periodicals on subscription and handle problems relating to television and radio installation within their raions. There are raion, city, oblast, okrug, and zonal communications centers. They are organized in raion administrative centers; cities under oblast, krai, and republic jurisdiction; administrative centers of autonomous oblasts; administrative centers of national okrugs; and capitals of autonomous republics, respectively.

Communications centers are the most common type of communications agency. There are more than 3,000 in operation in the USSR.


Lazarev, V. G., and G. G. Savvin. Seti sviazi, upravlenie i kommutatsiia. [Moscow] 1973.
Ekonomika sviazi, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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