Algol Broadcasting Foundation

Algol
Image from Steve Bowers

The eclipsing binary Algol, headquarters of the ABF mediacorps.

A small to medium-sized broadcasting entity affiliated to the NoCoZo, based around the star Algol.

The star system Algol produces a great deal of power, and material from the accretion disk can be relatively easily extracted, making this one of the richest systems in the Middle Regions. A number of NoCoZo corporations are based here, most notably the Algol Broadcasting Federation.

The ABF was formed around 6500, and shortly thereafter began its transmissions. The business idea of the ABF is part profit, part philanthropy. By dispersing the knowledge of the more evolved systems, it eases the technological progress and cultural stream-lining among the fringe to medium -sized worlds. There are several levels to the service provided. At the core lies free, charity if you will, broadcasts. These are transmitted in the most basic and universal of protocols, so as to be available to all. In these broadcasts, the recipient is made aware of the originators nature and purpose, for further marketing purposes. The contents of the free broadcasts are diverse, giving a hint of what paying customers receive. They are more than enough to build a technical civilization capable of interstellar trade on, though. An effect of this has been the eradication of "provolve- charlatans" within the broadcast area, as well as establishing a lower bench-mark as to what information is actually worth charging for.

The next step is the fly-by of an ABF info-merchant. Well-armed and equipped with its own interstellar transmitter array, it makes an offer that most fringe worlds would be foolish to refuse. Tailored access to the premium part of the ABF broadcasts, with the possibility of ABF installing a decent transceiver array for free (with ABF ownership, of course) once the system has crossed certain demographical growth boundaries. As payment, the merchant requires all public (and some secret) content in the system archives/databases. It also wants stock options, long-term bonds and other derivatives. Last comes some token industrial goods to be lobbed at ABF home system, along with refueling and refitting of the merchant, so it may continue on its rounds.

Being a foundation, the ABF has neither stock nor owners. Its financial needs are handled primarily through bond issues on the various worlds where it has local offices. So far, it has not defaulted on any of the issues.

The editorial style of the ABF is one of slightly smug neutrality. They're a non-profit organization at core, and they love teasing the rest of known space with it. The foundation charter specifies neutrality in politics, along with a very broad customer group (virtually everything from semi-intelligent up-lifts to twice ascended AI:s). Be that as it may, the transmitter arrays of the ABF frequently give out breaking stories and important financial news relevant to NoCoZo worlds.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Håkan Andersson

Initially published on 21 December 2003.