I have some questions about ComTech. I'll update this top post with answers from the GMs as I receive them and new questions from other people if/as they get posted to the thread.
Q: Can characters communicate with each other via their scanners?
A: CommTech is not required for real time voice comms if you have a cellphone, for now, within the primary colony area (AKA, the game site). Setting up and creating new spire uplinks over time will require CommTech.
Q: What about over longer distances?
A: To communicate over wider distances or bounce transmissions off the Spire Network, CommTech and a planetary transceiver is required.
Q: Can standard issue scanners be used to access the archive? If not, what is required?
A: Standard-issue scanners and transcievers (AKA, your cellphone) can be used to access the Archive now that the Spire Uplink at the colony site is fully functional (AKA, calling the GMs). They can also post to the Bulletin Board uplink.
Q: Can we use some hand-held radios or apps like Zello to communicate in character?
A: Handheld radios and 'group channels' will be limited to people with CommTech, as opposed to direct calls handled by the cell phone, and require a planetary transceiver. Given the concept of distance compression, this represents using more advanced communications tech. (Apps like Zello should probably be avoided because it leaves out anybody playing on a tablet, who would then have to also worry about having their phone on them and keeping it charged.)
This is all very much subject to change as the game develops.