Gallente franchise system
The Gallente franchise system is used by Federation member states to delegate out various responsibilities to outside bodies regarding the economic activities of their home system. It is considered the primary legal vehicle for member states to engage in star system development by utilizing the competitive free market system. The franchise system identifies the most common concerns of a Federation star system, and provides a codified method for member states to scope out independent franchisees from across the union, stimulating public-private relations.
Because not all member states are interested in matters beyond their own borders or the affairs of their solar system, there is no obligation to utilize the franchise system. This is frequently true of star systems composed of multiple member states (particularly when the states are in opposition with one another), or member states that feel their sovereignty may be infringed by delegating responsibilities to outside interests. On the other hand, those member states who do utilize the franchise system frequently find themselves far better off in terms of hard development figures than those who do not.
The three largest franchises are Shipping & Security (S&S), Astromining, and Communication. Because there are no restrictions behind a member state's choice of a franchisee, entities from outside the Federation can be found providing the above franchises. In the Intaki solar system, the Ishukone Corporation and Mordu's Legion are the joint providers of the Shipping & Security franchise. In the Algintal constellation, Wiyrkomi control the Astromining franchise. Nugoeihuvi are one of the more notable Communication franchisees of non-Federation origin, particularly in Sinq Laison.
While there are various other franchises recognized by the system, they are not considered to be widespread enough to warrant mention here.
Shipping & Security (S&S)
S&S is widely considered the most important franchise due to interstellar trade being core to the Federation's economy. S&S franchisees are responsible for protecting and regulating the commercial shipping lanes necessary for sustaining the weave of economic interdependency (if any) between all planets and space habitats in a star system. The franchisee may be responsible for the system's trade lanes as a whole, providing vessels needed to ship goods between settlements. It may also be in charge of customs, monitoring the star system's imports and exports.
S&S is most commonly franchised out to the Federation Navy and Federation Customs, though interstellar retail and shipping corporations are other notable providers, including FedMart, Aliastra, Federal Freight, Inner Zone Shipping, TransStellar Shipping, and InterBus. Another prevalent approach is franchising out independent starship captains or private military companies for S&S.
The Astromining franchise concerns the mineral rights over the asteroid belts in a star system. Ownership of asteroid belts can be a consistent point of conflict between the members states of a system, necessitating the need to delegate asteroid mining to third parties. The Astromining franchisee is responsible for ensuring that all member states in a star system receive a fair share of the minerals available. In return, the franchisee is permitted to retain a cut of the minerals for selling elsewhere.
Astral Mining Inc. is the largest single provider of the Astromining franchise in the Federation, followed by Material Acquisition, though thousands of smaller companies and individual entrepreneurs are available otherwise.
The Communication franchise's importance stems from the need of utilizing FTL technology to proliferate GalNet access as far and wide as possible across the expanse of the Federation. This is both done for political and economic reasons, such as facilitating e-democracy and connecting to the regional markets, but it is also done in the name of pursuing a digitally integrated interstellar society where all citizens have free access to limitless information. Communication franchisees are responsible for constructing and maintaining FTL relays and fluid routers across a star system, ensuring that all settlements in space are connected to both GalNet and planetary networks. The large expenses required for this means that only New Eden's largest corporations are capable of fulfilling this franchise. The Federation government often subsidizes this franchise.
Media corporations like The Scope and Impetus, the larger academic institutes such as the University of Caille and Center for Advanced Studies, and hi-tech megacorporations are amongst the largest Communication franchisees in the Federation.