September 16th, 2019
Scott Jehl has written this wonderful piece about how 5G is on the horizon and how it could cause problems for users. But first, he starts by talking about the overwhelmingly positive news about it:
[…] as it matures 5G is predicted to improve network speeds dramatically. Carriers are predicting download speeds in 2019 for anywhere from 100Mb to 1 Gbit per second on average.
This is…bonkers! Numbers like this make it seem as though the web’s performance problems are merely a matter of infrastructure. But Scott continues:
When I read this, I thought of how adding extra lanes to highways actually causes more traffic, which is equally weird and counterintuitive. But networks are like highways in this way, as Scott shows above. He continues to look at how most phones won’t be using the latest and greatest tech and we’ll always have to consider the users that are using the slowest devices on the slowest networks, regardless of how fast our connection might be:
As networks improve, we have a huge opportunity to improve the web we build, but it’s on us to take that opportunity, or squander it.