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Entries / Telephone Communications

Telephone Communications

Categories / City Services/Communication

TELEPHONE COMMUNICATIONS began to operate in St. Petersburg on 30 November 1882, after the construction of the 47km-long St. Petersburg - Gatchina telephone line, and the building of the first telephone station (26 Nevsky Prospect; it was a manual operator station, originally for 128, then for 259 phone numbers, equipped with 6 switchboards and 7 main lines). Telephone communication with Peterhof and Tsarskoe Selo was established in 1883; the first long-distance telephone line between St. Petersburg and Moscow was built in 1898. In 1895, the St. Petersburg telephone network totalled about 3,000 users; in 1900, about 4,000; in 1911, over 50,000. In 1905, the Central Telephone Station was built at 22 Morskaya Street (CTS; in 1905 it had 40,000 numbers; in 1917, some 57,400 numbers). Power transmission lines were gradually replaced with underground cables beginning in the 1920s, with the first attempts made in 1906. The Leningrad City Telephone Station (LCTS) was automated in the 1930s. The Petrogradskaya, Nekrasovskaya, Krasnoarmeiskaya, Volodarskaya, Vyborgskaya and Kirovskaya automatic telephone stations (ATSs) began operating in 1933-37. Since the 1950s, in addition to cable lines, radio relay communication was also used for long-distance (inter-city and international) telephone communications. The LCTS was transferred to 7-sign numeration in 1976. By the early 1990s, LCTS consisted of 280 ATSs operating in St. Petersburg and neighbouring suburbs, and the total number of users came to about 1.3 million. There also were six call centres in operation. Following privatization, the St. Petersburg Telephone Network (PTN) Open Joint-Stock Company replaced the LCTS on 5 May 1993. In 2002, the PTN consisted of 304 ATSs, and the number of users reached 1,800,000. On 28 December 2001, the PTN open joint-stock company was renamed Northwest Telekom Open Joint-Stock Company, consisting of 9 departments, including Artelekom of the Arkhangelsk Region, Murmanelectrosvyaz, Novgorodtelekom, St. Petersburg Telephone Network, Cherepovetselectrosvyaz, Electrosvyaz of the Vologda Region, Electrosvyaz of the Kaliningrad Region, Electrosvyaz of the Karelia Republic, and Electrosvyaz of the Pskov Region. By the end of 2002, the number of NWT users reached some 3,200,000, of which some 1,200,000 subscribers had Internet access.

Reference: Кононов М. Б. Артерии новой цивилизации: Посвящ. 115-летию Петерб. телефонной сети. СПб., 1997.

I. A. Bogdanov.

Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 26