August 12, 2019

Someone has surfed the web on a budget of 50 MB per day:

I’m going to limit my browsing today to 50 MB, which in Zimbabwe would cost around $3.67 on a mobile data tariff. That may not sound like much, but teachers in Zimbabwe were striking this year because their salaries had fallen to just $2.50 a day.

For comparison, $3.67 is around half the $7.25 minimum wage in the USA. As a Zimbabwean, I’d have to work for around a day and a half to earn the money to buy this 50MB data, compared to just half an hour in the USA. It’s not easy to compare cost of living between countries, but on wages alone the $3.67 cost of 50 MB of data in Zimbabwe would feel like $52 to an American on minimum wage.

The article comes with hands-on tips on how websites could improve and shows impressively just how unethical poor web performance is.

It’s ironic, though, that the page where he posts his results is also guilty of transferring a lot of data - I measured a whooping 10 MB when accessing the page.