In a recent paper, researchers described a system that can teleport a quantum state without the need for the entangled particles to actually "meet" each other.
I'm reading, in particular,
The author states that (emphasis mine)
scientists in China at Harbin Institute of Technology, Yanbian University and Changchun University demonstrated what is known as a counterfactual approach in which quantum information can be transferred between two distant participants without sending any physical particles between them. The researchers accomplished this by entangling two nonlocal qubits with each other without interaction – meaning that the present scheme can transport an unknown qubit in a nondeterministic manner without prior entanglement sharing or classical communication between the participants. Moreover, the scientists state that their approach provides a new method for creating entanglement that allows two qubits to be entangled without interaction between them.
Theoretically," Zhang acknowledges, "a galactic or intergalactic internet may be possible based on the present scheme, which would require a so-called long-arm intra- or intergalactic interferometer and a quantum obstructing object with very long coherent time. Obviously, however, it's currently unpractical to construct a long-arm interferometer, and there is no known quantum state with such a very long coherent time.
I'm not sure what they're talking about with the long-arm interferometer, but if they can really transport the quantum information without the entangled particles meeting, then why would how long the coherence can be maintained determine the "distance", since "nothing" is traveling between the two separate locations?