Brief history of communication development in Turkistan area

Mail service

Demand for getting the news from other countries and areas goes back to the antiquity.

For instance, in the history for transfer of information are used such primitive types of communication, as the transfer of sound and radial signaling messages, by beating the drums, using the bonfire, smokes and the sunlight signals, as well as the other ways of information transfer: pigeon post, pedestrian, by horse and caravan deliveries.

The first mentions about purposeful transfer of information by means of symbolical and written signs are stated in Aristotle’s notes, who described the transfer of messages along the “great route”, afterwards merely named the “Great Silk Road”.

The Delivery of the post correspondence was carried out in the various ways, as:

– In the Persian monarchy there were established the hangars with its staff, in Greece there were the special pedestrian messengers, in the Roman Republic for the governmental and private purposes were used the special messengers “runners” who carried the clay tablets with wax covering, with symbols and letters.

– During the Arabian Caliphate in this region there were the departments, the prototypes of post offices, under the supervision of“sahib barid”, the head of post. The Post officials did not obey to local authorities of “khokim”, they entirely depended on the central management.

– During the Mongols period the transfer of information was organized quietly different. At that time, the communication organisation presented by itself the system of postal parking “pits” (hole), along the main roads. The holes were settled down from each other on 15-20 km distance, and they were protected by special armies.

As distinct from the Arabian communication system the Mongolian communication system had the relay operation principle, as “from hole to hole”, and therefore it was more effective.

In general, in the Central Asia region by the end of XIXth century there was the system which had been developed and adapted to those conditions the transfer system of written and oral messages. On a fee paid basis there were completed the written messages and on a fee paid basis also were realized their delivery.

There were no special institutions for communication indented for the use by population, the special mail boxes. The Postal Exchange substantially represented the government correspondence.

The Colonial conquest of Central Asia by the Russian Empire in the second half of the XIXth century and formation of Turkistan General Governorship and Turkistan military district as a whole had the progressive impact on this region and led to the involuntary development of economy and communication facilities, including the telecommunication facilities in Turkistan.

There were constructed the new postroads between the cities and main economically significant settlements of Turkistan.

The postal communication network essentially covered the cities and the mail boxes were appeared in the cities. In the rural areas it was little if any. The quality of mail service was very low: the correspondence delivered slowly; its movement had been complicated by lack of roads. The mail traffic along routes was carried out mainly by animal transport or araba, and the letters delivered to the addressees for months.

The postal carriages were accompanied by armed security guards. From 1865 till 1868 years on the postroads together with two postmen ten Cossacks watched over the preservation of mail. The Cossacks were kept for specific purposes at each post station. The mail service between cities was irregular.

At the end of XIXth century in Turkistan was the development of the commodity-money relations with other countries, and it gave a new push to communications development. The structure of clientele and the demand have increased and the volume of the post correspondence increased as well.

The leading role in development of communication facilities had played the construction of railways in Turkistan. At the end of XIXth century there appeared a new type of communication – the mail transport by railways.

Telegraph, telephone

By the end of XIXth and at the beginning of XXth century there had been appeared the new types of postal services: transfer of valuable letters, postal wrappers, and money transfers.

At the same time along with the mail service there occurred and gradually developed the telegraph communication.

On June, 1873 the first International Circuit of Telegraph Communication started its work in Turkistan: Tashkent – Orenburg. In 1876 in the big cities of country were organized the new telegraph circuits: in Samarkand, New Margelan, Katta-Kurgan. In 1884-1900 telegraph lines were launched in the Bukhara emirate and Khiva khanate. In 1901 the communication circuits were organised between Kokand – Andijan and Namangan – Chust.

In Tashkent in 1891 the common-use telephone circuit was implemented. By 1901 in Tashkent the list of users of telephone communication reached 55 subscribers.

On September 7, 1904 was signed the Acceptance Certificate for operation of the first telephone exchange of the common-use manual system for 200 numbers of the “Siemens” and “Galske” systems.

The first State Telephone Exchange began its operation in Tashkent in 1904. Following Tashkent such kind of station was constructed in Samarkand. In 1907 for needs of a telephone system of Tashkent organised the private telephone workroom.

In 1895 the Khan of Khiva, Muhammad Rahimkhon had constructed the first private telephone exchange in Khiva. It was the manual station for 20 numbers the MB system of Swedish firm “L.M. Eriksson”. By 1917 about 100 telephone sets started their operation in Khiva. In 1927 in Khiva the switchboard “MB-40” for 40 numbers had been put into operation.

In 1911 in Turkistan were only 85 communication institutions. The average density of service by one communication enterprise was 17,6 thousand sq. versts, and by quantity of population made 58 thousand people. The number of subscribers of the telephone system of Tashkent increased up to 708 numbers, 54 of them were in the old part of the city. It was established four call boxes: at the railway station, on the goods depot of Tashkent road, in the weekend market and in the administrative board of the city. In 1914 in Tashkent there were already 942 subscribers and 5 call boxes.

In the first half of the XXth century, the communication enterprises equipped with telegraphic hardware did not ensure even the elementary requests of the population. The huge territories (Karakalpakistan, Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya,) remained without telephone connection.

In 1917 was established the National Commissariat for Mails and Telegraphs of the Turkistan Republic. Into which were entrusted the management of the main types of common-use communications: mail, telegraph, radio, telephone, as well as the control over the construction and operation of all types of the communication that were within the jurisdiction of the other National Commissariat.

The intervention and civil wars had caused a considerable damage to the communication facility. In summer of 1918 almost the all telegraph lines had been destroyed, for many thousand kilometres, and the property of some mail-telegraph enterprises were plundered. Tashkent Telegraph Office that was in touch with 22 cities of the country at the middle of 1919 had the connection only with 6 cities.

By 1925 in the republic there had been functioned 51 communication enterprises, in 1926 – 250, and in 1927 about 392.

The beginning of development of the long-distance telephone communication in Uzbekistan refers to 1924 when the first aerial line of communication had been constructed between Tashkent and Samarkand. The significant success was reached in telephone penetration by 1926. There were accepted to operation the communication lines Tashkent – Samarkand, Samarkand – Dagbit – Kattakurgan, and the great maintenance of long-distance wires and urban networks was provided.

The telegraph gets its further development. Only for construction of telegraph circuits in 1929 there had been ordered 41600 columns, started the construction of bronze cable highway: Moscow – Tashkent, suspended with chrome and bronze chain on plotes Samarkand – Bukhara, Bukhara – Chardjou, the steel chain in Kokand – Havast, Samarkand – Guzar, Termiz – Djarkurgan, Kaunchi – Mirzachul, Jangikurgan – Djizakh, Dushanbe – Termiz and so on. In 1930-1931 had been constructed the air telephone and telegraphic circuits for connection with the regional centres: as, Pastdargom, Narpay, Bulungur, Angren, Hatirchi, Buvayda, Mangit and others. As a whole the length of wires increased up to 24 %, and cables up to 65 %.

In the process of development of urban telephone systems there revealed the necessity for replacement of manual service telephone exchanges with automated stations. On September 8, 1932 the first automated station of Swedish firm, “L.M.Eriksson”, the machine system and automated telephone system B3 for 5000 numbers put into operation.

In 1932 had been begun the construction of long-distance highway Moscow – Tashkent, that was completed by 1939. As a result of all taken actions the communication of Uzbekistan got accelerated development. Only in 1936 had been launched about 227 new post offices and 40 agencies in countryside. There were 471 post offices in the republic in general. The village postmen were supplied with bicycles. As a whole the general growth of communication sector in 1936 reached 11 %.

In 1934, 17 trunk telephone stations with 70 public telephone booths were put into operation. At the same year the trunk telephone station separated from the submission of the central telegraph office, and became independent.

In 1937, Uzbek Administration for Communication was transformed into the Authorized Department of National Communication Committee at the Soviet National Committee of UzSSR.

On March, 1946 the Department was renamed into the Authorized Department of the Ministry of Communication of USSR under the Council of Ministers of the UzSSR.

In 1955 Department of the Ministry of Communication of USSR under the Council of Ministers of the UzSSR had been transformed into the Ministry of Communications of UzSSR.

After the proclamation of independence in 1991 the Ministry of Communications had been transformed into the Communications and Information Agency of Uzbekistan.

The first knowledge about the invention of radio is dated in 1895. For the first time in the world Alexander Stepanovich Popov invented a spark radio transmitter and on May 7, 1895 in the laboratory-like environments had shown the transfer of radio signals to a distance without wires.

The construction of the first in Central Asia the powerful combine radio station in Tashkent in 1915 had been completed and put in operation. The spark discharch provided thought the instrumentality of a huge electromagnet.

The energy supply sources consisted of accumulator batteries and two diesel engine generators and each of them with 160 kw of capacity. The radiator-aerial consisted of dense wire’s network which suspended on six 90-meter metal masts it had been designed and constructed by German firm “Siemens-Galske” (in 1914). At the same year the first radiogram had been received that was announced on departure of a train from Moscow to Tashkent.

The radiocommunication since 1924 more and more dynamically developed in Uzbekistan. The experimental tests had begun in the broadcasting sphere since 1925. Nevertheless February 11, 1927 accepted to consider as the birthday of broadcasting in Uzbekistan. At that day was the inauguration of a new Tashkent radio station.

The less important was the event of opening of the radio centre in Tashkent which had been established on September, 1929. It played a considerable role in the broadcasting’s development of the republic. There was established the Central Asian broadcasting committee in 1931.

By December  1, 1932 radio sets were counted about 1 900 in the republic, including in clubs and tearooms made about 176 points, in collective farms, state farms and machine-tractor stations about 583, in schools – 15 and etc.

By the end of 1932 there were operated in the republic 5 combine radio stations (Tashkent, Samarkand, Khiva, Termez and New-Bukhara) with nine transmitters. Their general capacity was about 62,65 kw.

In 1934 the inhabitants of the republic had possibility to listen the program cycles daily 7,5 hours; musical (49,3 %), literary and dramatic (4,4 %), for children (26 %), educational (6,6 %), informative (13,7 %) programs. The communication widely developed in rural regions. In the same year the radio telephone communication had been launches: Tashkent – Stalinabad (Dushanbe), Tashkent – Frunze (Bishkek).

It was putted for use the special numbers with the growing number of radio stations: for transferring radio stations were appropriated the odd numbers, and for receptions – even.

On January 1936 in separate areas were organized the radio committees for improving the radio service for the population. (It is New Urgench and Khorazm Valleys).

Advantages of radio were widely used at the construction of large objects, in particular the channels “Langar”, “Big Fergana Cannel”. By the end of 1940 the number of radio reception points in Uzbekistan reached 72 thousand.

By the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbek Soviet Socialistic Republic from October 3, 1946 was accepted the decision concerning the start of construction of the powerful broadcasting station in Tashkent area, and nowadays in Urta-Aul.

Development of television

As is known, that in 1907, B.L.Rozing, the Professor of Petersburg Technological Institute interested with an “Electric telescope” and improved the principle of image deployment.

The further steps of television development connected with Tashkent. Boris Pavlovich Grabovsky, the assistant of Central Asian State University conducted the work on creation of television hardware with the moving images. He, together with engineers V.I.Popov and Н.G.Piskunov have developed the construction of “radio telephoto” and that obtained the Patent №5592 in November 9, 1925. It was the project which contained the all basic elements of modern television system.

The official testing of “telephoto” – the grandfather of modern televisions took place on July 26, 1928. The testing passed successfully, for the first time was received the moving image of a person. On August 4 in Alisher Navoi Street was the demonstration of “telephoto”, in Tashkent, and on the screen appeared an image of a moving tram.

Information about the present-day development of enterprises of Communications and Information Agency of Uzbekistan is provided in the official web sites of these enterprises