Small Websites & Internet Infrastructure
Friday December 25, 2020 — Taipei, Taiwan
The technical circles I’m tend to care a lot about making small, fast, efficient websites. We’ve got clubs on clubs on clubs preaching the gospel of small websites. I get this — if you have a slow connection most of the web is unusable, and there’s a sort of preposterous exuberance in using megabytes of data to present a few paragraphs of text. I’m sympathetic to this cause.
But at the same I can’t help but wonder if the focus on bundle sizes is missing the forest for the trees. Most of the web is unusable on a slow connection, but why are connections so slow in the first place? I signed up for a cell plan in Taiwan a few days ago — it provides me with unlimited data, 50-75Mbps downAs measured by fast.com, and works anywhere in the country, all for less than $18USD/month.It costs NT$488/month, which comes out to US$17.38/month at today’s exchange rate. I haven’t been bothering to use wifi, since tethering to my cell phone is far more convenient, and provides me with speeds about the same as my residential internet when I was living in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Comcast is charging people extra to go above a 1.2TB data cap, despite there being no shortage in bandwidth. If you live in a country that has poor internet service, like the United States, spending a few MB to load a couple paragraphs of text might seem preposterous. But a couple MB is not that much for well functioning internet infrastructure to handle!