K is starting a new job, and they want her to have her computer connected to wired ethernet.

This is not immediately problematic: in a past life, I told a researcher trying to archive genomic data to connect to his office’s wired ethernet, because of speed. With the terrabyte or so we were talking about, the speed difference between campus’ wired and wireless networking constituted days’ worth of distance.

But here:

  • the place was built before the days where you might wire up a whole house for internet, and we moved in past that, when wifi had the trifecta of “fast, cheap, good” that it was never the cause of the “nyetworking” issues we might have had. Therefore, cables snaking down the hallway are the easiest way to get that.
  • I theorized the possibility of mobile broadband being the thing that breaks the cable-or-telephony broadband duopoly, but when it arrived at my house, I didn’t recognize it as such: I fretted on where behind bookcases we hid the phone jacks until I saw “battery and sim card come pre-installed” in the setup guide. We hit the same issue as with the researcher: Fast.com says 74 Mbps for my tablet on wifi but 350 Mbps for the computer on my desk, using a USBc ethernet adapter (because they don’t make many laptops with onboard wired ethernet these days).

I don’t think her work will fall into the area where it’s crucial to get every sing bit/minute out of the connection. I could be wrong; I don’t fully get what she’ll be doing. But I do know that my videoconferencing has been much better, even at wifi speeds, now that I’m not wired anymore.

If you have any questions or comments, I would be glad to hear it. Ask me on Twitter or make an issue on my blog repo.