A communications networking system is disclosed for controlling and monitoring devices within a telephony central office. The networking system includes a high bandwidth local area network (LAN) within the central office for transferring substantially all communications between each central office network element and remote telephony operational support systems (OSSs) that control and monitor network element performance. The LAN simplifies communications within the central office: (a) by substantially eliminating direct connections, between central office network elements and remote OSSs, and (b) by utilizing at least one standardized communication protocol such as TCP/IP, UDP/IP, or OSI when transferring communications over the LAN. The networking system includes a mediation device(s) for translating between network element specific protocols and a standardized protocol used on the LAN. The networking system further includes redundant routers, each acting as an interface between a wide area network (WAN) connecting to the central office and the central office local area network, wherein the WAN provides substantially all of the communications between the central office and the OSSs.