The primary office for most of England's courts. *The Central Office was established in 1879 to consolidate the masters and associates of the common-law courts, and the clerical functions of the Crown Office of the Queen's Bench Division, the Report and Enrollment offices of the Chancery Division, and several other offices.

And yes, the CO is where all local loops in a given area connect, and where circuit switching occurs. Some are manned, some are unmanned. Occasionally, something fucks up and they have to fix it. There was one CO in the upper part of New Jersey that was flooded for a couple of days (months ago), but all of their equipment was wet for the following two weeks and it had to be replaced, piece by piece. It was heinous.

Most COs are digital now; they used to have some cool sounds that you can hear on the web: