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There are over 1,000 people on the Enterprise D, so if that were the case everyone's combadge would be beeping all the time. I would guess that the communicator doesn't transmit the message (or any beeps) until the sender establishes who the recipient is. That is, if Tom Paris touches his combadge and says "Paris to Kim," Harry doesn't hear that in real time, but rather a second or two later, then once Harry acknowledges and a channel is open real-time communication commences.

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