What is a Central Office?

A central office is a telecommunications facility into which all local residential and business phone lines converge and are connected to switches that enable phone service. They are also called telephone exchanges and switching centers and are telecom's version of an electrical substation.

"Office" is a bit of a misnomer and a throwback to when central offices were populated with dozens of switchboard operators who would connect callers to their destination numbers. Now, with automatic call connections, central offices are filled with racks of hardware and tens of thousands of cables. Employees are mostly engineers.

Central offices are designed for maximum uptime, which means they're disaster resistant. The phone lines that go into central offices have been buried underground for decades to mitigate the negative effects of snow, ice and wind. Now, many central offices are also being built underground not only to protect them from disasters, but also to protect the surrounding area from the electromagnetic radiation they emit.

Due to the importance of quality voice services, central offices are an important component of the contact center ecosystem.

How NICE is Redefining Customer Experience

NICE CXone is the industry’s only interaction-centric platform where channels, data, applications, and knowledge converge to improve customer experience at scale.

It is the leading, most complete and unified CX Platform on the market, used by thousands of organizations of all sizes around the world to help them consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. CXone is a cloud native, unified suite of applications designed to help you holistically run your call (or contact) center operations.

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