chapter  2
22 Pages

Overview and Historical Background

WithRobert W. Campbell

This chapter is concerned with the physical features of the network. It considers the network of switched voice, documentary, and data facilities. As in all the communist countries, special high-priority secret communications networks existed in the USSR along with the public network and the industrial branch networks. The armed forces had their own telecommunications network. Telecommunications in the USSR was administered by the Ministry of Communications. The reach of Minsviazi exceeded that of telecommunications entities in most other countries in that it also built, maintained, and operated facilities for television and radio broadcasting. The Soviet telephone network was originally conceived and in fact developed as a congeries of local systems, far from integrated even at the zonal level. There are three main elements to the physical telephone network: subscriber loops and terminal equipment located on the subscriber's premises, switching facilities, and the transmission equipment and channels that tie the exchanges together.