The biggest limitation facing humanity once it had invented the Rosenberg Drive (Rdrive for short) and even before that during the colonization of the Solar System was that of Communication. While the Rdrive allowed for near instant travel across distances of up to twenty light years at a time, the actual cost to do so in the early years of its development made using it for something as trivial as opening up a small anomaly for communications impossible, not to mention the limitations placed on its use by gravity wells. People were at the time limited to waiting for either a colony ship or merchantman to be arriving or departing their planet heading in the right direction to send news and messages between systems.
This made not only general communication a nightmare, but strongly hampered any attempts to govern across interstellar distances. At first attempts were made despite the costs to create small Rdrive singularities to send data through, however as previously mentioned the cost even for the shortest of bursts was on par with sending a merchantman and the signal on the other end always came through unreadable. In an effort to combat this the Confederation used for the first 400 years of its interstellar existence the Rdrive Courier Drone that in some backwater systems still sees use.
The drone is in effect a small computer controlled spacecraft consisting of an Rdrive, Reactor, Fuel, Storage compartment and a basic navigational computer to control the drones travel. It is launched, travelled under its own power to the nearest safe jump area, jumps and then transmits its data on the other side. This allows for the equivalent of a postal service where drones from each system arrived at a central hub, their messages and any small items needing to be carried where catalogued, and then send out from the hub on other drones. This system was the backbone of the early Confed, lasting until the invention of the Q.E.C network or Quantum Entanglement Communications Network roughly 400 years later. QEC was the brain child of Dr Sarah Fuller and while not ground breaking in terms of actual theory, as the evidence for Quantum Entanglement had been in physics since the mid-20th century old earth calendar, but it was a revolutionary breakthrough in terms of actual practicality.
The QEC uses a unique principle in quantum mechanics which allows for two particles to be ‘entangled’ or to share across great distance equal but opposing states. While the actual theory was known a method to actually read the states was a different matter as the actual ‘reading’ of the quantum particles would inevitably result in a change which would it was believed destroy any useful information attempting to be sent. It was this problem that Dr Fuller managed to overcome with her revolutionary and patented design. By calibrating both solid state particles at the factory then taking multiple readings of the particle over the course of at least 1 second a single bit of data could be transmitted, error checked and then placed into digital realm. This system went into existence in 431CE with the historical set of messages sent from Titan Station, Sol to Tau Ceti Prime “My God, it’s full of Stars” followed by the return message ‘Message Received, My God It’s Full of Stars, Quote by A. Clarke 2001’.
In that short message, the fate of the entire Confederation changed, no longer was communication limited to the jump courier overnight it seemed Dr Fuller and her team became some of the richest people in human history, the patent was licensed to 4 companies for a period of 100 years, after which its contents would be made public. And the four companies used that time well. By the end of the 100 year period every system within Confederation space had at least one Communications Stellar hub within it, either a building or a satellite that housed hundreds if not thousands of quantum entangled ‘bits’ capable of sending gigabytes of data per second, each linked much like the original telephone network of humanity to central stations that in turn routed the information they received to the next destination. The age of the ‘pony’ express had once more come to a close.