The Æthernet is an method of instantaneous, intergalactic, ansible communication. It is the standard around which the HubNet and the many other subnets exist.
InventionÆthernet was developed 100 years after the advent of Humanity into Ethnis, and finalized towards the tail end of the Rilaem War. Osborne Jadey was driven to spearhead the invention of the Æthernet to communicate between Earth and Jhoutai when a failure of communication between the two planets led to the untimely death of several of his kin.
UsageStations, large buildings, and large colonies all have Æthernet hubs, 3-by-3 meter rooms which serve as routers for smaller local networks on a range of several hundred kilometers. Thes Æthernet hubs are responsible for larger message coordination with other Æthernet hubs in peer-to-peer fashion.
LimitationsHub Size Hubs are not small enough to be personally portable, and require a fair amount of maintenance to keep them in working order. Encryption Æthernet encryption is managed within each hub by a LeGuin device. During downtimes hubs will coordinate to other hubs within their network via swarm machine learning to generate an increasingly unbreakable encryption algorithm. The result is that Æthernet encryption is nearly unbreakable, but messages are longer and nobody is really sure how the encryption works anymore. Data Bottleneck Æthernet hubs are not multithreaded and so send and receive messages one at a time. In networks with multiple hubs this is negligible, but if a colony with a single hub is suddenly bombarded with data the hub and its LeGuin device may short-circuit. Power Requirements While the power consumption of an Æthernet hub is not difficult for stations and cities to supply, it is a prohibitive amount for colonies until they have advanced power generation in place.
ImpactThe invention of the Æthernet had massive ramifications on what it meant to be from Earth or Jhoutai, and did more to intertwine the social fabrics of the two than any political negotiations up to that point had ever managed. What before had been a 10 day turnaround of communications suddenly became instantaneous, allowing first for face-to-face discussions of individuals of power, and later for gaming and communication between common citizens. Today, the Æthernet is the backbone of the HubNet. Without it the intergalactic empires of the Banners would be impossible.
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