Pope Names Interim Telecommunications Director

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 1, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI appointed engineer Pier Carlo Cuscianna interim director of telecommunications for the Vatican.

Cuscianna replaces Massimo Stoppa, who is retiring, the Vatican announced today.

Cuscianna had been the vice director of technical services.

The telecommunication service in the Vatican is responsible for the study, installation and management of the telecommunications infrastructure of the Vatican.

It has been run since 1948 by members of the religious order of the Society of St. Paul.

Vatican telecommunication began in 1886, with a telephone exchange which linked 10 separate phones.

Regular telephone services within Vatican State began after the stipulation of the Lateran Treaty, 1929, with the installation of a number of telephones in various Vatican offices and residences, linked via the Roman urban telephone network.

The first central telephone exchange, donated by American Catholics in 1930, provided telephone services for approximately 360 end users; it remained in use until 1960 when it was replaced by a Pentaconta exchange with a capacity of 1,500 numbers, later extended to 3,000.

In 1992 the Vatican State’s third central telephone exchange was inaugurated providing Vatican City with the first completely numeric telephone network, with a capacity for 5,120 numbers.

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