Subspace Relay Stations
A massive communications network provides a means for Starfleet to send messages over vast distances
One of the problems space explorers face is how to keep in touch over the vast distances of space. The
difficulty arises because communication signals inevitably decay over time; this causes significant
amounts of information to be lost, rendering the message useless. Much effort has therefore gone into
devising and implementing a suitable communications network that will convey messages quickly and
accurately. Scientists found that by deploying subspace relay stations at intervals of approximately 20
light years, a signal could be boosted before it started to decay. This had the added benefit of
increasing the speed of the communication to as much as 60 times faster than a starship's top warp speed.
There are already thousands of relay stations located in Federation space. An additional 500 come into
service each year, mostly along trade lanes and in areas of ongoing exploration. During journeys into
previously uncharted regions of space, starships will sometimes 'drop' a trail of temporary relay
stations behind them as they go. These are often replaced by permanent stations at a later date. The
Starfleet network is further supplemented by numerous civil and local communication webs throughout the
"COMMUNICATIONS" - AUGUST 1999 ISSUE 4 STAR TREK: THE MAGAZINE COPYRIGHT OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES.