Interstellar Trade, Transport and Telecommunication (ITTT)Source: Brian Bell
CommentsFrom the corporate brochure:
ITTT is the brainchild of Michael Sharpe. Mr. Sharpe, owner of several large corporations, fled the USA in 2048, just prior to the collapse of the US economy. Having placed most of his holdings overseas, the collapse and following 'pacification' had a major, but not catastrophic impact on his assets. He spent the next 10 years in speculative investment (some paid off, some were written off) including heavy funding of an asteroid mining firm and minor investment in the Gilderstien Foundation. In late 2060 he stumbled across the real reason that the Gilderstein Foundation's L5 lab disappeared. He set everything in motion to form the ITTT but waited for the official announcement in 2061.
ITTT was founded in 2067 by a group of private individuals and selected corporations. The planned colonization of the AF and EC presented an opportunity. ITTT agreed to sponsor quarterly transits to the new colonies in exchange for a 99 year exclusive contract for transportation of goods (non-government, non-military), people (after 1 year) and communication. FTL travel, was a hugely expensive (and somewhat dangerous) proposition. The expense of sending goods by FTL seemed to make it a guaranteed financial loss. The deep pockets of ITTT allowed them to take the long view of such a venture. The governments, wanting to invest in expansion rather than on the support of colonies, agreed to the terms. The company was driven to the brink of bankruptcy several times. But as colonies grew in size, the trips began to make a profit and shipments increased in frequency. The vast majority of colonies signed a contract with ITTT. Those that did not initially, did after a couple of years of infrequent supplies from their governments. In 2080, ITTT expanded into the expensive field of relay communications, using FTL couriers, manned and unmanned to transmit messages quickly across vast reaches of space. (Using unmanned drones to carry the messages between systems, then powerful communications relays to broadcast messages to the next set of drones, much like the old fashioned 'Pony Express.')
ITTT's asteroid mining operations provided it with a vast amount of organic knowledge about the operations of bases on asteroids. FLT communication is still only employed by major worlds (and only by the Government and major corporations) due to the cost of operation. By 2100, ITTT was showing a hansom profit. ITTT settled one of the moons of Saturn (TBA) and expanded their mining and ship building operations. In 2108, it faced separate challenges from the NAC, and ESU to its right to the moon of Saturn. However military protection by the UN and a boycott of shipments to the government colonies quickly ended each of the challenges. In 2113, ITTT laid claim to the system of (TBA) and moved their headquarters there. Currently (circa 2180's) ITTT has contracts with the majority of colonies and maintains a large market share of the FTL transportation and communications relay industries on the major worlds.
ITTT is based on a 3 line mantra:
Editorial NotesJon Tuffley stated "The GZG universe has NO GOOD GUYS" (paraphrased). This is certainly true of ITTT.
It is by nature a company that thrives in a monopolistic setting. It is ruthless in defending its contracts. It employees a large (by corporate standards) force of Q-ships and a military force comprised of a fleet of military class ships (escorts and troopships) and a fair contingent of marines. They have a "black ops" section that is thoroughly active.
On the other hand it sets a standard rate for FTL transport. The rate is based on transit time, risk, and who assumes the responsibility for ships lost to hostile action (raiders/pirates/terrorists/military). This policy has allowed ITTT to stave off the "nationalization" of trade routes and relay communication.
All initial contracts between ITTT and new colonies contain 4 clauses:
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Author and ContributorsSource/Entry Author: Brian Bell
Changed: Saturday, 30-Jul-2011 11:55:44 EDT