Starnet Technology / Science in Starkeeper | World Anvil


Complimenting the Starweb for the movement of objects such as spacecraft, the Starnet is Stellar Compact civilization's primary means of interplanetary and interstellar data exchange. It is divided into two tiers, the fastnet, which offers quick though bandwidth-limited links through miniature wormholes, and the slownet, which uses transit stargates capable of sending much more data, but with long time-delays from lightspeed lag.


The fastnet is centered around datagates holding miniaturized wormholes just large enough to pass laser beams for data transmission. This enables datagates to be placed on planets for fast communication with population centers, though care must still be taken as even a tiny data wormhole's collapse can cause an explosion of nuclear-equivalent energy. Thus, fastnet hubs are typically located in wilderness areas or deep underground, and are maintained by robots. Because the distances between wormholes in hubs is small (typically on the order of single-digit kilometers), transmissions from one planet's local information network can cross potentially many hubs, arrive at their destination in another planet's network, and send a reply back in a few dozen milliseconds at most.
  This is not without its downsides, however. While complex compression techniques and laser-beam multiplexing can squeeze an immense amount of information through a single datagate, this is still not enough bandwidth for large planetary economies. Hence, transmission over fastnet is priced higher than by slownet. Some polities subsidize fastnet connections for their citizens, while others leave data routing up to market forces.
  Not all locations have fastnet connections, either; they are typically limited to major worlds and habitats with high populations or economic activity, and well-established colonies.


The slownet follows the same fundamental principles of data transmission through wormholes as the fastnet, only it uses the Starweb's network of macro-scale transit gates located in space. These wormholes are much larger, capable of accommodating many cables run across their throats and hence have little problem providing enough bandwidth for even the most highly-populated solar systems. However, since most stargates are located in interplanetary space, and any given transmission may have to cross several wormhole links to reach its destination, long time delays ranging from minutes to hours are inherent to this mode of networking.
Parent Technologies

Cover image: by Tomislav Jakupec


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