Beanstalks are a transportation technology for movement of goods and personnel between plantary surfaces and orbital constructs.
Beanstalks are a catchall phrase for the technology which runs the gamut from low to high tech.
Low tech beanstalks are composed of a long advanced technology 'cable' which runs from a ground station at a worlds equator, to a orbital terminal in geosynch orbit. Platforms travel the lenght of the cable moving goods and people between the surface and orbit.
Whilst an economical means of transprot, the technology is limited to use at a world's equator, and the low orbital alititue the terminal must be at, due to the drag on the cable.
Modern Beanstalks forgo the physical cable, for a maglev platform riding a modified tractor beam. The technology allows for quick efficent transport of people and goods, with out the need to digitize and 'beam' them though the use of transporter technology. Beanstalks by their nature are a safer means of transprot, requiring far less computer and power use than transporters. Beanstalks are also able to be used in systems with high EM interfarance.
The Botany Bay Colony uses an extensive Beanstalk network to connect orbital constructs with the surface.