A Datanet, a shorted form of Data Networkis a large scale interconnected communications network spanning all of the inhabited parts of a world or system. The data network carries news, information, entertaiments, and allows communication with any sophont in the network.
These networks consist of hard wired communication lines, line of sight communication links, and an orbital satellite constellation. Worlds with moderate or high populations and TL–7 or higher always have a some or all of these elements of a network. At TL–9 the network extends to the other populated worlds in the system, including communication satellites in solar orbit to allow continual communications. Some lower populations and low tech worlds also have datanets, though they are not always complete or as functional.
Data networks with many connections evolve into Cyberspace.
Access to the Datanet requires a communicator tied to the network, a Handcomp, a Cyberdeck, or a Workstation depending on the level of access required. Most worlds have access points with allow most conventional computers access to basic news, a public library data set, and some entertainments.
Access to the network requires paying fee, usually a few credits depending on the level of access required. Basic services including a news feed, access to a local library data, and communication ability with some or all person on the world are included. Advanced services including more detailed data sets or additional entertainment option require additional fees. Most class A, B, or C starports include basic access to the datanet as part of the docking fees.
The local Travellers' Aid Society provides a public terminal and extended datanet access to members. Associate members may purchase access for a small fee.
During the First Imperium the Vilani had a Argushiigi Admegulasha (Anglic: Argushiigi Admegulasha) or Repository of all knowledge on each world. The largest and most complete was, of course, on Vland and all other repositories were updated from the primary AAB. On many worlds with strong Vilani influence this practice is continued and the local datanet is referred to as Repository or Library.
On more corporate worlds, where distinguishing names are needed data net is referred to by a local name usually combining "data", "comm", "library", "info", or synonyms with "net", "grid", "web", bade (Anglic: bade) (net). Or the equivalents in the local sophont language. On worlds where there are competing data net providers there may be several variations.
The Travellers' Aid Society warns members that datanet's are not secure. Network operators, governments on the worlds where networks operate, and other may be monitoring the network and the content of communications. Use of the Datanet for illegal purposes, including sedition, treason, planning or committing criminal acts may result in revocation of access to the network. Other criminal penalties are possible as well.