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A telecommunication circuit is any line, conductor, or other conduit by which information is transmitted.[1] Originally, this was analog, and was often used by radio stations as a studio/transmitter link (STL) or remote pickup unit (RPU) for their audio, sometimes as a backup to other means. Later lines were digital, and used for private corporate data networks.

A leased line is a circuit that is dedicated to only one use. The opposite of a dedicated circuit is a switched circuit, which can be connected to different paths. A POTS or ISDN telephone line is a switched circuit, because it can connect to any other telephone number.

On digital lines, a virtual circuit can be created to serve either purpose, while sharing a single physical circuit.


A telecommunication circuit may be defined as follows:

  • The complete path between two terminals over which one-way or two-way communications may be provided. See communications protocol.
  • An electronic path between two or more points, capable of providing a number of channels.
  • A number of conductors connected for the purpose of carrying an electric current.
  • An electronic closed-loop path among two or more points used for signal transfer.
  • A number of electrical components, such as resistors, inductances, capacitors, transistors, and power sources connected in one or more closed loops.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Freeman, Roger L. (1999). Fundamentals of Telecommunications (PDF). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 1. ISBN 0471296996.

  This article incorporates public domain material from the General Services Administration document "Federal Standard 1037C" (in support of MIL-STD-188).