The backbone of the Net - a massive array of small, cheap, and easily deployed satellites that carry the vast majority of the world’s Net traffic (3.1). Those destroyed during the years of meteor impacts have been replaced with vastly improved models, and new technology is deployed continuously. Satellite technology and control over Net traffic have become indispensable benchmarks for the corporations and city-states (3.4.6). The Swarm links every major city-state and most urban areas through hundreds of thousands of small ground stations scattered world-wide (3.1).
Swarm hops are tiny satellite ground stations that link a local area‘s communications network or comp-grid to the Swarm. Most Swarm Hops are roof-top devices, resembling overturned hemispheres (3.1). They are usually found atop buildings, on street lights, or scattered on the exterior of an arcology. Most ground stations are nothing more than a hand-sized satellite dish or small dome linked to a wireless array and a power source, but they are linchpins, linking businesses and residents to the rest of the wireless world. In the Wilds, ground stations are often much larger and designed for durability rather than concealment. They are also rare and generally built to service trade routes or large communities. Those that do exist outside of the cities are ferociously defended by the corporations or communities who own them (3.4.6).