Hypernet is the generic term for superluminal communications systems that connect people, organizations, and civilizations throughout the galaxy. There are many different types of hypernet nodes, and many different ways those nodes communicate with each other, but in the current day almost any hypernet node can send at least rudimentary messages to any other hypernet node, and many support more advanced forms of communication.
Little is known of the first hypernet nodes, as today’s system represents an evolution of systems over at least several million years. The oldest operational nodes are believed to be some 750,000 years old, but the contain references to several generations of nodes before them. There are some nodes that intermittently connect to the rest of the network that may be older still, but pinpointing the location of such nodes to investigate can be extremely difficult, especially if they use non-localized transmission methods.
In the Bottlenose Nebula
Due to interference from the Blowhole, there are actually three hypernet nodes in the Bottlenose Nebula. The central node (which uplinks to six nodes outside the nebula and both other nodes within) is at Alphaspace Watch. One of the secondary nodes (The Blowhole Node) is located about 75,000 AU from Fog, about 5 lightyears from the Blowhole, so it can receive and relay to the primary station. The other secondary node (The Bau Node) is just tailward of the Bau.
Role in Subluminal Development
While most hypernet nodes only receive and transmit in superluminal modes, the Blowhole Node, for safety reasons, will also forward subluminal communications to the hypernet. This has caused problems on several occasions during which subluminal civilizations have inadvertently accessed the hypernet.
Lowali Eloth may have been connected to the Hypernet prior to the destruction of that planet. We do know the Vedd were aggressively scanning in the direction of the Blowhole, and that the Blowhole Node would’ve only been a couple degrees off the straight-line path from Lowali Eloth to the Blowhole. There is clear evidence that requests were made using the subluminal systems of the Blowhole Node during the time the Vedd were intently scanning the Blowhole, and it may well be some individuals or organizations on that planet successfully communicated with other parties via hypernet. If so, it seems likely that their communication partners were directly or indirectly responsible for the disasters that later befell that planet, as nobody has admitted to being a party to those dialogs.
The Venture, the Kaqueni infomorph better known as the opera-obsessed caretaker of the Omnidome, most definitely established a bi-directional connection to the hypernet. The logs in that regard are unambigious, and certain influences in the AI’s musical innovations are clearly simple adaptations of popular genres in other parts of the galaxy. It appears that the uplink was never communicated to others prior to the Shutdown of the Omnidome, and so the Kaqueni remain ignorant of the hypernet as a society.