THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS OF THE USSR: PRESSURES AND PROSPECTS, 1957-65 (R

Created: 7/11/1960

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ECONOMIC INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

THE MTNISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS OF THE USSR PRESSURES AND

CIA/RR90

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office ofnd Reports

Hits memorandum is concerned only with those tcleccaramuiications racllitiec and services in the USSR that are controlled and operated by the Ministry of Coojminicatlons. The independent, functional facilities and services operated by other governmental organs, such as those dealing with the armed forces, transportation, andare not included in the memorandum. It must be pointed out, however, that although the facilities and services covered here ore confined to those under the Jurisdiction of the Ministry oftheir use is not so restricted. The armed forces make abundant use of this system, as do all the ministries. The memorandum treats the many facilities, especially mainline circuits of relatively high capacity, that are jointly owned or operated by two or more governmental organs but fall under thc over-all control of theof Communications. Thc postal and broadcasting services are not discussed in the memorandum.

It is not the purpose of this memorandum to provide detailed analysis.

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Summary and

I. Introduction

II.

Reorganization

Growth of the

III. Problems in providing

A- Shortages of

B. Radial Flow of

C Functional Systems

D. Shortages of Equipment and Manpower

IV-

Appendix A. Glossary of Technical

Appendix B. Gaps in

Appendix C. Source

".'l-nrt.-.

Folloving Ifegc

Figure 1- USSR; Lines of Authority in Soviet

Figure 2. Schematic Chart of the Flow ofin Soviet

THE KIKXSTHY OF COMUKICATIOHS OF THE USSR: HCSSUHES AK)

Summary and Conclusions

The basic telecommunications service of the USSR Is adequate to support the fulfillment of the current economic plans of the country. Because of limited allocations of resources, however, little service is available for private consianption and other purposes. The Ministry of Communications, vhlch Is the prime supplier of basic telecooanini-catiocs facilities, has been under many pressures to expand its services, ftiese pressures have been intensified by the Industrial reorganisation7 and thc continued rapid grovth of thc economy.

Up9 the Ministry of Communications placed primary emphasis on expanding the capacities of existing facilities, which vereof lov capacity. In the Seven Yearhe emphasis has shifted to the construction of high-capacity facilities. These nev facilities, coupled vith the continued Improvement and expansion of other facilities, should Improve the contribution of telecommunications service to the economy.

I. Introduction

The Ministry of Communications supplieaelecommunications service In the USSR. As one of the basic service sectors of the economy, this service makes ita contribution by providing the rapid means by which diverse economic, military, political, and social activities are directed, coordinated, and controlled.

The estimates and conclusions in this memorandum represent thc best Judgment of this Ofrice as For definitions of technical terms used in this memorandum, see Appendix A.

*- The term public as used in this memorandum refers to the post and telecommunications facilities and services under the control or and operated by the Ministry of Communications,

Tbe telecommunications sector is particularly significant because of the huge size of the Soviet lard mass, the large military demand for

LINES OF AUTHORITY IN SOVIET INDUSTRY

telecommunications service, and the accelerated tempo of economic developmentlosely controlled central plan.

The system of priorities for the allocation of resources In the USSR hoe not allowed the telecommunications sector of thc economy to grow much beyond the level necessary to meet demands for essential services. The Ministry of Communications has not been given enough resources to provide for future demands In the most economical way, to satisfy fully private consumer demand, to provide excess facilities for use in emergencies, or to compensate for possible seizure of facilities by the military services in time of crisis. Thus theof Communications has been operating under pressures to provide Increasing service with limited facilities.

II. Pressures

Two recent events have Intensified the pressures on the Ministry of Communications of the USSR. .The industrial reorganization ofhich was rather sudden in conception and implementation, caught the Ministry with many demands by the new sovnarkhozes for service where none then existed. At the same time, the Ministry was confronted with intensified demands resulting from new economic plans that are intended to continue the rapid rate of growth of the Soviet economy. Even though tbe overly ambitious original Sixth Five YearO) was discarded inhe less ambitious Seven Yeartill maintained heavy pressure on the Ministry.

A. Industrial Reorganization

7 the control structure of the Soviet economy uas reorganized. The reorganization deliberately introducedchanges ln the lines of authority in Soviet Industry, as shown ln the chart. An increased share of authority and responsibility for administering industrial enterprises wasfrom functional-administrative organizations on the national level to the sovnarkhozes on the regional level- Decisions on the Implementation of approved plans and on day-to-day direction and operation of the enterprises were delegated to organizations on the republic, sovnarkhoz, and enterprise levels. Decisions on national Issues such as capital investment, wage rates, und the distribution of production remain, as before, in thc hands of the centralln Moscow.

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Although the Industrial reorganization did not change the organizational structure of the Ministry of Communications (uhich continues tonion-republict greatly affected the operations of the Ministry. The patterns of the flow of information before and after the reorganization arc illustrated in the chart.* Much Information that formerly terminated at thecenter in Moscow now terminates at the republic, sovnar-khoz, and enterprise levels. This redirection has increased the flow of conmninications between republic capitals ond their subordinate sovnarkhozes and among the sovnarkhozes themselves. The sovnarkhozes also needed new flows, especially lateral communications, with other sovnarkhozes as well as with subordinate enterprises and with marketing and supply organizations located in the same republic and even in neighboring republics. The consequent changes in the direction and quantity of the flow of communications traffic have required theof Communications to adjust its services accordingly.

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B. Rapid_ Growth of the Economy

Thc rate of economic growth in the USSR is continuing at an impressive level. Exceptlight dip7 that was more than made up forS, Soviet gross national product has maintained an average annual rate of growthercent About thc same rate of growth is estimated for the period of the Seven Year Plan. Industrial growth is even higher, increasingate of slightly moreercent This rate of growth is expected to continue Increased economic activity has exerted growingon thc Ministry of Communications to meet new demands for

III. Problems in Providing Service

The Ministry of Communications of the USSR hasumber of problems In providing telecommunications service for the economy. These problems have Included shortages of facilities, radial patterns of communications, inefficiencies of functional networks, and shortages of certain types of equipment and manpower.

* nion-republic ministry, which is on the national level, directs Its affairs through corresponding, or counterpart, ministries organized on the republic level. ull discussion of the administrative and operational structure of the Ministry of Communications, see Source

** Following p-

J5 U

'Ine USSR does not have an extensive network of modern, hlgh-cupacity teleeommunications facilities. arge proportion of the mainline and feeder facilities are low-capacity, open wirelines and point-to-point radio. Many of the available wirelines ore already used to capacity and allow little room for expansion. Point-to-point radio, because of its lack of reliability, isesirable medium for long-distance communications.

Flow of Traffic

A radial flow of telecommunications traffic, shown in the chart. Figurevolved in the USSR in response to the centralizedorganization of the country- In the radial pattern, rayon centers and interrayon centers had telephone and telegraphthrough Moscow. Multiple relaying resulted, with attendant Increases in errors, delays, ond costs. The reorganization changed the flow of communicationsadialcmilateral pattern, causing the abandonment of thc inefficient radial system but requiring the rearrangement of telecoraaunicalions facilities and the construction of some new facilities.

Systems

Before the reorganization, many industrial ministries in the USSR owned and operated their own telecommunications facilities. This situation resulteduplication of public and functionalservice. Some cities had as many as seven paralleland telegraph lines owned and operated by individual ministries in addition to lines operated by the Ministry of Communications. The Ministry charged that this duplication was wasteful and that costs of operation of parallel facilities were excessive-After the reorganization, facilities that had belonged to thc abolished ministries were ordered to be transferred to the control of thc Ministry of Communications. Thc intention of this order was--to eliminate wasteful duplication and to aid in meeting the needs of thc sovnarkhozes. Byome interurban facilities had been transferred, but the Ministry had not been able to gainof all functional facilities within the oblasts and thc rayons. Consequently, there has not as yet been any significant increase in service resulting from the integration of facilities. Soviet officials have urged that integration be completed.

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!). Shortages of Egulpax'nl and Manpower

Shortages of equipment and,esser extent, of skilledhave been recurring problems faced by thc Ministry ofof the USSR. In many instances, even though communications organs were allocated sufficient funds for the construction of new facilities, equipment was unavailable. ontinued shortage of this nature will have serious consequences. Considering the emphasis now being placed on the completion of the Seven Year Plan, it is unlikely that such shortages win be allowed to persist-

The demand for skilled manpower is increasing as more modern and complex telecommunications facilities are developed and as telecomputing, and mechanization are pushed forward. trained personnel who can install, regulate, and service highly Complex equipment arc in great demand. As the Seven Year Planthis demand should rise. The Ministry probably will expand its already extensive training facilities to meet this problem.

IV. Prospects

" Pul>l'*najrandum iw: expressed in current rubles and may be" converted to US dollars at the rateubles to This rate of exchange, however, does not necessarily reflect the dollar value-

** ull discussion of capital investment in the Ministry of Communications, see source

The Ministry of Communications of the USSR has made some progress in meeting the increasing demand for more telecommunications service. Existing facilities have been improved and rearranged. Circuitequipment has been installed on wirelines. Increased use has been mode of automatic exchange equipment, and many circuits have been reorganized. Some long-haul service has been provided sovnarkhozes and enterprises by connecting low-capacity lead-in and drop-off circuits to interurban routes. These actions, however, which required only small investment ond could be rapidly implemented, have not solved all of the problems- Tbe provision of additional facilities is clearly indicated. Consequently, an extensive construction and installation program is planned- Planned investment during this period, about lh billion rubles* compared withillion rubles for theears, appears, in general, to be adequate to carry out the program-*" Emphasis will be placed on the construction of mainline coaxial and multiconductor cable and microwave radio relay lines, which will provide greatly increased interurban circuit capacity for telephone and telegraph services in those areas where it is most needed. Although thc cost of these facilities is relatively

high per Kilometer, the facilities are attractively low in cost per channel- Expansion of direct circuits among enterprises will be accomplished by the construction of low-capacity wirelines andradio relay lines (low in cost per kilometer but high in cost per channel). The installation of automatic exchange equipment and circuit multiplexing apparatus will be carried out on many circuits.

Facilities at republic levels and the lower administrative levels also will be expanded. In accord with the reorganization,organizations at these levels were delegated Increasedlo plan, acquire, and expend local funds. Through tbe uae of theseart of which Is being supplied by tbesome local service is being provided.

Subscriber telegraph servicewo-way communications service between subscribers)ew years ago and is expected to grow rapidly. Byapid serviceritten record, subscriber service Is especially .adaptable for sending and receiving documentary data. Inquiries, orders, and telecomputer data. The importance of these services is shown by plans to Increase the number of subscribers95 byimes.

With tbe partial resolution of the problems of tbe Ministry of Communications and the fulfillment of present plans, telecommunications service in the USSR is expected to improve- The service essential to the fulfillment of the economic plans will continue to be provided. In addition, more service will be available In many areas sh reserve capacity and for private consumers. The rapidly expanding economy of thc USSR, however, will continue to require ever increasing amounts of telecommunications service. esult, the Ministry of Communiettions will be under continuing pressure to provide such

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APPENDIX A

GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL TERMS

Apparatus: Instruments, muchIces, appliances, and other assemblies used inelecccsBunlcations facility.

Automatic (as anf or pertaining to any process ln-volved in producing belecommunlcations service that does notdirect, immediate human assistance.

undle of sheathed, insulated vires and/or coaxial tubes, usedelecommunications medium. It is sometimes referred to as "multiconductor cable."

t

Channel: ortion, electrical or physical,elecommunications circuit, lane, supergroup, or group that can be used to transmit information independently of and simultaneously vith all other portions. hannel may be used to provide tvo or more subchannels.

Circuit: elcccemunlcatlona connection betveen tvo or more distant "pointsire, cable, or radio medium facility used to carry Tbe circuit Is the fundamental telecommunicationsbetveen distant points. By the application of appropriateircuit may be arranged in many different combinations to meet tbe need for various kind6 and quantities ofservice. In its simplestircuit may carry only single telecommunications units in sequence. In Its most complex form it may by apportionment carry simultaneously thousands of telephone channels and telegraphumber of television programs; and other specialized kinds of service, euch an high-fidelityprograms, radar signals, and data-processing signals.

For the most complexircuit is ofteninto lanes, each of vhlch can carry,irection, 1programelephone channels. In turn,channels are subdivided intoupergroups ofelephone channels each. Each supergroup is subdividedroups ofelephone channels each. One or more telephone channels may besubdivided Into three tovoid-per-minute teletype Other specialized kinds of service may be accommodated by combining two or more telephone channels.

Coaxial (as an adjective): Of or pertainingoderncable medium technique using one or more tubescalled "pipes"). Each metal tubeonducting vire supported concentrically by Insulators. The space in the tube usually contains nitrogen gas under pressure. Generally, coaxial cable is used for the transmission of information in complex form, such as radar, computer data, or television signals, and/or for the transmission of telephone channels and telegraph subchannels. ingle tube usually carries information in only ono directionime. The capacityube depends in part on the distancerepeater stations. In the standard facility, which may haveubes in thcingle tubeaneelephone channelselevision lane, for which the repeater station spacing istatute miles. ew developmental coaxial cableingle tube mayanesotalelephone channelselevision lanes, for which the repeater station spacing is expected to betatute miles.

Facility: An association of apparatus, material, and electrical energy required to furnish telecommunications service.

Feeder (as an adjective): Of or pertaining to telecommunications facilities of relatively low capacity that Join facilities ofhigh capacity. (Bee Main.)

Frequency: The rate in cycles per second at which an electricvoltage, wave, or field alternates in amplitude and/or direction.

Functional (as an adjective): Of, pertaining to, or connected with special, unique, or particular telecommunications facilities managed and operatedingle agency, organization, company, department, committee, ministry, or other entity, in contrast to the facilitiesasic system.

Ionosphere: Those layers of the earth's atmosphere occupying the Spacetatute miles ln thickness extending from abouttatute miles above the earth's surface to the outerexosphere) of thc atmosphere. Reflection from these layers makes possible long-distance transmission of radio signals. The layers, however, are responsible for fading of signals, skip distance, and differences between daytime and nighttime radio reception. They arc also usedcattering reflector for Ionosphere scatter-transmission techniques to transmit to distances oftatute miles.

K-T

Line; eneral term used toelecommunications circuit facility (wire, cable, or radio).

Main (as an adjective): Of or pertaining to telecommunicationsat and between principal cities and center* that have relatively high capacity compared with feeder facilities. c Feeder.)

Medium: Any substance or space that can be used practically toa form of electrical energy for the purpose of providingservice.

Microwave radios an adjective): Of or pertainingadio medium technique in modern telecommunications employing radiohigheregacycles. These frequencies do notafford practical direct transmission to great distances,because they do not bend well around the earth's surface

'and because they do not reflect well from the ionosphere. They ore, however, capable of reliable transmission from horizon to horizon (llne-of-slght) by thc use of special antennas thatthe radio energy and give It desired direction. Great distances can, in consequence, be reached by this technique by the interposition of relay stations along the route of the linepacing interval of fromtature miles, depending on terrain conditions. This technique can be employed practically to carrymall number of telephone channels and telegraph subchannels to thousands of such channels and subchannels through two or more lanes and to carry one or more television and other specialized lanes and channels.

Multiplex (as an adjective): Of or pertaining to tbe combining of Information signals, modulated or unmodulated, of two or ex>re lanes, supergroups, groups, channels, or Subchannels for transmission over the same circuit.

Network: An interconnection, electrical or physical, of two or more circuits or portions thereof for the purpose of facilitatingservice.

Point-to-point (as anenerally, of or pertaining toservice between fixed points, using the radio medium.

Subchannel: ortion, electrical or physical,elecooraunlca-tlons channel that can be used Independently of and simultaneously with all other portions. An appreciable number of telephone channels can usually be subchannoled to carry from three toword-per-minute teletype subchannels on each telephone channel so employed.

Subscrlber: Any customer who directly operates telecommunications apparatus in obtaining telecceseuni cat ions service.

System: All of the facilities und networks managedingle agency, organization, company, department, committee, ministry, or other entity in rendering either functional or basic telecommunications

service.

Telecommunications: Transmission, reception, or exchange of informa-tion between distant points by electrical energyire, cable, or radio medium facility to produce telephone, telegraph, facsimile, broadcast (aural andnd other similar services.

eneral term used toine consisting of either an aerial cable (and/or separate wires) or underground cable, usedelecommunications medium.

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appendix b

gaps ih ihteu-tgekge

Tbe noln gaps In information on tbe role of the Ministry ofof the USSR in the Industrial reorganization7 relate to the degree of responsibility delegated to localorganizations for acquiring, planning, and expendingfunds and to the extent of actual tranaferral of thcfacilities of the abolished industrial ministries to the control of the Ministry of Communications. Fragmentary data on these gaps are available but do not include sufficient detail. Suchis necessary for evaluating the economic capabilities of post ,and telecommunications In tbe USSR in relation to the economic and military programs.

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ourceo cited in this ormo-nndun ar-nailof those actually us**. Selection for citation was based on theof tv contribution that each made. The complete list of sources used is available in tho 'lies of this Office.

Evaluations, following thc classification entry and deiipnatedave the following significance:

Source of

Doc

Wcianentary

Confirsyl by other rource

-

-riiahi-

Probably true

-

rwliahl*

e

m

reliable

Doubtful

-

urually -eliable

Probably false

_

reliable

Cannot be Judged

-

be Judged

*

evaluations not otherwise designated are those appearing on the cited document; those designated "RR" are by the author of this memorandum. No "RR" evaluation is given when the author agrees with the evaluation on the cited document.

1. CIA- . The Political and Economic Soviet Industrial

CIA-oviet.

Original document.

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