Radiofication in the USSR

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Radiofication in the USSR


a state system for the planned development of radio and wired broadcasting networks. It provides sociopolitical, cultural, and educational information to the population 24 hours per day.

The organization of a state broadcasting system began during the first years of Soviet power. During the mid-1920’s, the radio-engineering industry produced the first public-address radio receivers; the receivers were equipped with loudspeakers and were capable of receiving programs (news) within a radius of several hundred km from the broadcasting station. Other devices produced during the same period included loudspeakers for the first radio sets designed for the reception of music programs and crystal radio receivers with headphones, designed for individual use.

The first experiments in wired broadcasting were conducted in Moscow in the period 1924–25. By the end of 1928 the receiving network included 127 rebroadcasting centers that provided service to 11,700 subscribers equipped with loudspeakers and to 9,400 subscribers equipped with headphones, as well as to 70,000 radio receivers, mostly crystal receivers. Wired broadcasting networks were primarily developed in the cities. Only 13.6 percent of all subscribers were in rural areas; for this reason, the radiofication of such areas received particular attention during the 1930’s. The creation of a network of radio centers and subscribers points for wired broadcasting made it possible to use radio broadcasting as one of the most efficient mass media for informing and educating the workers. By the beginning of 1941 there were 11,000 rebroadcasting centers and approximately 6 million subscribers. A large part of the network was destroyed during the Great Patriotic War, but by 1946 a nearly total restoration had been completed; at that time, there were 9,400 rebroadcasting centers and more than 5.6 million subscribers.

In the 1950’s, the radio industry began mass production of radio receivers and radio-phonographs. In 1957 there were 16.5 million receivers in use in the country; in 1967 this figure grew to approximately 40 million, and in 1974, to 55 million. The wired broadcasting network also expanded rapidly. In 1950 there were 9.7 million subscribers; in 1966, 35.6 million; and in 1974, 57 million. During the 1960’s, three-program broadcasting by wired networks had been developed. In 1974, 98 percent of the population had access to broadcasts transmitted over wired networks. The combined radio and wired receiving networks receive programs broadcast from Moscow or local centers in 67 languages of the peoples of the USSR.


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