No Fun with Slow Internet and Big Downloads

I’m taking this rare opportunity to post a bit of a rant.

I live in a rural part of the country. It’s a beautiful area, lots of woods, nature, a very quiet area.

With that comes some downsides, including slow internet. My home speed is a blazing twelve megabits. I have a relative’s house I work at in another part of the state, there the internet is a mere three megabits.

At the same time, software updates seem to be growing larger and larger. The most recent update to Apple’s XCode was over twelve gig. There is a video editing package called DaVinci Resolve that regularly puts out two gig updates.

These take incredibly lengthy periods of time to download at my home, assuming the connection doesn’t drop or reset mid-download. I wind up going to coffee shops or the library where there is faster internet that allows me to receive these large updates. Even in these locations the fastest speed is one hundred megabits, shared among all its users.

I’m not the only person in this situation. At conferences (back in the pre-COVID days when we had them) I often spoke with other attendees who lived under similar circumstances.

Of course, the real solution is to get faster internet to our rural communities, both here in the US and worldwide. Much of our planet is dependent on the internet for communications, business, and more, to the point where it is becoming a necessity.

Unfortunately, infrastructure is not cheap, nor is it quick to roll out. So, until that happens, I’d really like for software makers to remember those of us with slower connections.

Instead of multi-gigabyte updates, I’d love to see software makers create smaller patches for their software, instead of a basic complete reinstall of the applications. Yes, it would require more testing, but would result in lower demands on their corporate servers and bandwidth.

Perhaps if others across the planet joined our voices it may have a positive effect, both in reducing download sizes and in getting a meaningful truly high-speed internet infrastructure in place.

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