Bonum Certa Men Certa

Feasibility of Self-Hosting is About More Than Speeds

posted by Roy Schestowitz on May 14, 2024

Spring Birds Catherine Klein 1926

Speed helps, but the Internet (Net) is a global, interconnected system that no single person or company or government fully controls

Self-hosting of things (Git, Gemini, Web, videos etc.) was a hot topic here around 2021. We wrote a lot about it back then. Not much has changed in the past 3 years (lack of investment due to war budgets and COVID-19), but in 2021 fibre finally came to our area and we adopted it in 2023 (we tried and changed our minds in 2021; it was a disaster when it was new).

Our government aims to increase access to fibre nationwide, but we don't fare well compared to other west European countries, though here in Manchester we seem to have connection speeds on par with (or better than) central London. The world's fastest mobile connections are in Gulf/oil states, especially their major cities:

Net by city, mobile

Self-hosting typically demands fast upload speeds (upward transfers), so download speeds can be mostly disregarded. Latency matters too, but it is seldom measured in benchmarks. Here's Manchester: (powerhouse of the north or Northern Powerhouse)

Manchester fibre

We the "working bees" can do a lot more than music and football!

Compare to London:

London fibre

Or to the whole nation:

UK fibre

Or to the world:

World broadband/fibre

Notice China catching up with South Korea, which used to boast broadband speed leadership for a long time (along with Singapore).

Since we do possess the skills of network and systems administration one day we might take hosting into our own hands. In some nations, even if one 'outsources' to a datacentre, the connection is still slow, so visitors/users feel lag (high latency) and suffer various other limitations.

Network (or Net) freedom is sort of an extension of Software Freedom; since almost no individual can own an ISP or an undersea cable, however, it's a task more comprehensive than even hardware freedom (being able to design and then fabricate one's own chips).

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