5 books to read

Since 1983, it has been customary for nearly every State of the Union address to include the line “The state of the union is strong.” That rote confidence, though perhaps misplaced in politics, seems warranted in the world of books: there are always good books being written. But is it possible that, in 2019, there was a slightly greater number of them? I had a terrible time whittling down my top ten this year. There was a longer than usual tally of titles, reputed to be excellent, that I wanted to read (but have not, yet), with the result that the ballot below may be more reflective of idiosyncratic consumption than objective judgment. The lineup is heavy on fiction, memoir, fiction that behaves like memoir, and memoir that impersonates fiction. The books of 2019 may be slippery to categorize, but the state of them is strong—a luscious year, like 1997 for Brunellos—and I’m thrilled that my job calls upon me to share some of my favorites, rather than my assessment of the nation’s affairs. To the list!

“Mostly Dead Things,” by Kristen Arnett

This début novel follows a taxidermist, Jessa-Lynn, who lives in central Florida and is mourning the death of her father. Jessa-Lynn’s lover, who is also her brother’s wife, has run off. Her mother is taking apart her father’s specimens—he, too, was a taxidermist—and turning them into erotic art installations. Black humor meets lush prose; Arnett’s Florida—a world of sensuousness and danger—expresses the freedom that her characters seek, as taxidermy itself becomes a figure for queerness, sex, art, and loss.

“The Divers’ Game,” by Jesse Ball

This dystopic fable imagines a society riven in two, with the upper class empowered to murder members of the lower class, for any reason. Characters are given varying degrees of self-awareness; spare, simple language evokes innocence maintained at too high a price.

“Trust Exercise,” by Susan Choi

Sarah and David, teen-agers at a prestigious performing-arts high school, conduct their love affair under the watch of a manipulative and charismatic drama teacher. The students are all sweat, hormones, and painful self-consciousness. The novel, tense and lovely as a dancer’s clenched muscle, explodes into a mid-act twist, which brilliantly foregrounds questions of authorship and appropriation.

“Ducks, Newburyport,” by Lucy Ellmann

This stream-of-consciousness novel, most of which unspools over a single sentence, is an inquiry into how we live—and think—now: drowning in information, aghast at the news, yet captive to the mundane details of work and family. Ellmann’s unnamed protagonist, a middle-aged housewife in Ohio, is at once conventional and specific, not to mention funny. Her litany of fears and yearnings acquires an almost sacral quality.

“Girl, Woman, Other,” by Bernardine Evaristo

Evaristo’s eighth novel, which shared this year’s Booker Prize with “The Testaments,” by Margaret Atwood, creates a symphony of black womanhood. Each chapter centers on a different character—a feminist playwright, her goth-alien daughter, the “separatist lesbian housebuilder” dating her friend—and their connections emerge gradually. At different times, Evaristo’s tone is either ringing or confiding, amused or stricken. Her language spills over the page in free verse that suggests Ntozake Shange but lays down its own rhythms.

“How We Fight for Our Lives,” by Saeed Jones

2019 in Review

New Yorker writers reflect
on the year’s best.

Jones’s tale of coming of age in the South as a black, gay poet has a startling immediacy. He writes of college lovers, the threat of hate crimes, and his self-possessed mother, who supported him but struggled to talk about his sexuality. The book, which is slim and focussed, quakes with a nervous energy that often erupts into euphoria.

“In the Dream House,” by Carmen Maria Machado

This memoir, which tells the story of Machado’s abusive relationship with another woman, is an act of personal and formal bravery: a narrative refracted through multiple genres—“Dream House as Creature Feature,” “Dream House as Word Problem”—that explores vulnerability but vibrates with power. Machado heightens a sense of dislocation by seeming to practice literary criticism on herself. (Right before her prologue, she writes, “I never read prologues. . . . If what the author has to say is so important, why relegate it to the paratext? What are they trying to hide?”)

“Valerie,” by Sara Stridsberg

In this whirling, poetic mashup of a novel, Stridsberg takes liberties adapting scenes from the biography of Valerie Solanas, the feminist who shot Andy Warhol. (Behold Valerie, languishing on her deathbed, sparring with the book’s narrator, who was not there.) The emotional through line is Stridsberg’s longing to know her mysterious, self-contradictory subject.

“Axiomatic,” by Maria Tumarkin

The book is comprised of restless, gorgeous essays, each of which uses an aphorism—“time heals all wounds,” “you can’t enter the same river twice”—to reflect on Tumarkin’s preoccupations: trauma, the ongoingness of the past, and the unworkability of language. Tumarkin takes up subjects like youth suicide and the plight of homeless people in North Melbourne, but her approach is never maudlin. The book exudes pity, as it’s classically defined— “a sorrowing compassion.”

“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” by Ocean Vuong

Vuong, a poet and Vietnamese immigrant, studies his upbringing through the lens of his mother, to whom the novel is addressed. This woman, Rose, is both loving and abusive. She cannot read English, and yet her imagined readership is the occasion for the story’s telling. Rose becomes, for her son, a horizon where intimacy and loneliness converge; the grace of the book is to measure distance while acknowledging that few distances are fixed.

slave basket (noun): a wicker basket strapped to a tarn to transport slaves. Book 5: Assassin of Gor, page 51
slave beads (noun): colorful glass or wooden strings of beads, suitable to be given to kajira at Master’s whim. Book 11: Slave Girl of Gor, page 82
slave bells (noun): tiny bells which give off a sensual shimmer of sound; threaded by the dozen on thongs or chains, they may be tied or locked around a girl’s ankles or wrists, or attached to her collar; are worn or removed only at the whim of a Master. Thought to be symbolic of their status of domestic animals, property, in bondage. Book 11: Slave Girl of Gor, page 84 Book 24: Vagabonds of Gor, pages 20-21
slave belly (noun): the area of the abdomen around the navel; so called because only slavegirls expose their navels Book 10: Tribesmen of Gor, page 335 Book 13: Explorers of Gor, page 334
slave blanket (noun): thin cotton-like blanket woven from the soft fibers of the Rep Plant to protect her from the cold. Book 3: Priest-Kings of Gor, page 67
slave box, punishment (noun): small square (3×3′) iron box with a door having a viewing aperture of 7 inches x1/2 inches in the middle and a pass-through of 12×2 inches at the base; a punishment device for slaves. Book 7: Captive of Gor, pages 313-314
slave box, transportation (noun): small, iron box used for the transportation of slaves. Book 14: Fighting Slave of Gor, page 120
slave bracelets (noun): manacles of various types intended to restrain the wrists of a slave; some are akin to handcuffs while some are almost jewelry light restraining bracelets made of blue and gold stones. Book 1: Tarnsman of Gor, page 102 Book 22: Dancer of Gor, page 218
slave bracelet, identificatory (noun): used in lieu of a collar, described as silver, it is attached to the wrist of a slave. Information about the owner is inscribed. Book 25: Magicians of Gor, pages 430, 441, and 459
slave cage (noun): small, stout, wooden cord-bound, thick-barred cage adequate for the confinement of bound slaves. A wooden gate, tied shut, secures it. Book 14: Fighting Slave of Gor, page 220
slave dance (noun): any of the sensuous and lascivious dances performed by slavegirls to entertain their masters; The dancing of a slave is a thousand times more sensuous than that of a free woman because of the incredible meanings involved the additional richness which this furnishes the explosive significance of this comprehension that she who dances is owned and theoretically could be owned by you. Book 22: Dancer of Gor, page 193
slave girtle (noun): a length of cord tied about a girl to mold a slave tunic to her form and enhance her curves, able to be crisscrossed about the body. Book 25: Magicians of Gor, pages 21, 28-30
slave goad (noun): an electrical device, much like a cattle prod, used for controlling and disciplining slaves Book 5: Assassin of Gor, page 84
slave harness (noun): a slave garment or bond not otherwise described. Book 25: Magicians of Gor, pages 108-109 slave heat (noun): the intense need and passion of a slavegirl Book 12: Beasts of Gor, page 242
slave hobble (noun): a chain consisting of a wrist-ring and an ankle-ring joined by 7″ of chainl it is fastned on one ankle and the opposite wrist Book 4: Nomads of Gor, page 154
slave hood (noun): a leather hood, having no opening for eyes, mouth, or ears, which covers a slave’s entire head; usually has a gag attachment Book 11:Slave Girl of Gor, page 146
slave ignorance (noun): it is sometimes deemed appropriate that slaves be deliberately kept in ignorance, i.e., not knowing the names of their captors, their whereabouts, or what is to be done with them, at the Master’s whim. Book 22: Dancer of Gor, pages 89 and 380-381
slave kennel (noun): a small room, usually 3’x3’x4′, having an iron grill for a door in which a slave girl may be confined at night . Book 15: Rogue of Gor, page 117-118
slave lips (noun): When this command is given the slave turns her head up to the Master her lips pursed in a sensual kissing position. She remains motionless her lips thusly puckered and may not move until she is granted the kiss of a Master. Book 18: Blood Brothers of Gor, pages 111 and 404 Book 19: Kajira of Gor, page 224
slave locker (noun): a sort of temporary slave box available at a depot for fee carts, for example. Once the slave has entered the locker, a tarsk bit is inserted which allows for the turning and removal of the key, which the owner pockets until his return. This kind of slave locker is unattended. Book 24: Vagabonds of Gor, pages 423-424 Book 25: Magicians of Gor, page 67
slave mat (noun): a course mat to which area a slavegirl may be ordered for discipline or surprise sex; the girl may not leave the mat unless permitted by her master Book 3: Priest-Kings of Gor, page 74
slave orgasm (noun): powerful orgasm in which a slave completely yields to the Master.. after which she can never be anything but a man’s slave. Book 13: Explorers of Gor, page 13
slave oval (noun): a method of chain a slavegirl consisting of a hinged iron loop which locks around her waist, with two sliding wrist- rings and a welded ring in the middle of the back Book 11: Slave Girl of Gor, page 146
slave perfume (noun): perfumes designed to be worn by slavegirls; they are heavier and more sensual than those designed for free women Book 10: Tribesmen of Gor, page 230
slave pole (noun): imaginary pole that ‘transfixes’ a dancing girl, by which she is ‘held’ during her dance Book 10: Tribesman of Gor, page 11
slave porridge (noun): a cold unsweetened mixture of water and Sa-Tarna meal on which slaves are fed; in Torvaldsland it is called ‘bond-maid gruel’ and often mixed with pieces of chopped parsit fish. Book 5: Assassin of Gor, page 126 Book 7: Captive of Gor, page 208 Book 9: Marauders of Gor, page 56, 63 – 65 Book 22: Dancer of Gor, page 66
slave rag (noun): see Ta-Teera slave surprise sex (noun): the sexual use of a slave girl; may be either tender or bruta, casual, deliberate or disciplinary. Book 10: Tribesman of Gor, page 34 Book 16: Guardsman of Gor, page 184
slave surprise sex position (noun): This is a disciplinary position wherein the slave is ordered to lie supine and motionless in preparation for usage. Book 13: Explorers of Gor, page 202
slave ring (noun): a heavy iron ring, c. 1′ in diameter, to which a slave may be secured for security, discipline, or any other reason; often found in floors, interior & exterior walls (either 1′ or 3′ above the ground), attached to the foot of a master’s sleeping couch, etc. Book 3: Priest-Kings of Gor, page 48
slave sack (noun): a sack used primarily to transport slaves that ties off on at one end. Book 14: Fighting Slave of Gor, page 244
slave stake (noun): about four and one half feet in length and four inches in width, cut from wood. At it’s top, about two inches from the end, a groove an inch deep is cut. A long leather tether is attached to a slave’s neck and affixed to the stake. It is used for securing a slave for the night, for example. Book 13: Explorers of Gor, page 349
slave steel (noun): generic term for collars, chains, siriks, etc. worn by slaves Book 3: Priest-Kings of Gor, page 158
slave strap (noun): heavy strap or belt which buckles behind the wearer’s back; in front, there is a metal plate with a welded ring, through which passes the 4 hort (5″) chain of a pair of slave bracelets; designed to keep the wearer’s hand before his body Book 8: Hunters of Gor, page 65
slave trap (noun): a trap of powerful steel that is lined by sharp teeth which snap shut on the slave’s leg and locks closed until opened by a key. The trap is locked, unlike an animal trap to prevent it being pried open by strong hands. Book 8: Hunters of Gor, page 126
slave tunic (noun): a simple, sleeveless, pullover tunic of brown cloth, slit deeply at the hips with narrow shoulder straps, little more than strings .Some have a disrobing loop at the shoulder. Book 22: Dancer of Gor, pages 155 and 225 Book 25: Magicians of Gor, page 21
slave veil (noun): a small triangle of diaphanous yellow silk, worn across the bridge of the nose and covering the lower half of the face; it parodies the heavy veils worn by free women, as it conceals nothing and often arouses the lust of masters
slave wagon (noun): a flat-bedded barred wagon like a large cage with a door in the rear in which many slaves may be transported at one time their ankles chained to a bar that runs down the center of the floor; tarpaulins are often used to cover the cage & hide the cargo. Book 7: Captive of Gor, page 65
slave whistle (noun): used in issuing signals summoning slaves and so on. Book 5: Assassin of Gor, page 84 slave wine (noun): a black, bitter beverage that acts as a contraceptive; its effect is instantaneous and lasts for well over a month; can be counter-acted with a another, sweet-tasting beverage (see: breeding wine). Book 9: Marauders of Gor, pages 23 and 83-84 Book 22: Dancer of Gor, page 174
slave wire (noun): a closely interwoven latticework of sharp, swaying strands, set at intervals of less than a hort. Serves as a confining fence. It’s barbs and prongs could cut a slave to pieces. Book 22: Dancer of Gor, page 347
Slaver (noun): any person owning or dealing in human slavery. While all of the Caste of Slavers are slavers, not all slavers belong to the Caste. Book 25: Magicians of Gor, page 315
Slaver’s Caress (noun): a method of touching, without warning, a slavegirl who is being sold in order to exhibit her slave heat for potential buyers; also known as the Whip Caress, as it is commonly done using a coiled whip Book 5: Assassin of Gor, pages 294-295 Book 13: Explorers of Gor, page 40
slaver’s necklace (noun): fanciful term for a coffle of slave girls. Book 17: Savages of Gor, page 107 Slavers, Caste of (noun): the sub-caste of the Merchants, one who deals in human merchandise; their caste colors are blue and yellow Book 25: Magicians of Gor, page 315
Slavers, League of Black (noun): a branch of the Caste of Slavers; they work out of Schendi and its environs. Book 13: Explorers of Gor, page 16
slavery, vengence and contempt (adv): one form of vengeance slavery is proxy slavery where one woman, totally innocent, is enslaved and made to stand proxy for a hated, but unavailable woman, even being given her name. Ironically, even though the original woman may be found, the proxy is not released from slavery. Book 18: Blood Brothers of Gor, pages 139-140

iwas fucked around with this message at Oct 26, 2008 around 06:58

Historic Documents

“Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You”

John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom — symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning — signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe — the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans — born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage — and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge — and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do — for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom — and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required — not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge — to convert our good words into good deeds — in a new alliance for progress — to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbours know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support — to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective — to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak — and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course — both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind’s final war.

So let us begin anew — remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms — and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah — to “undo the heavy burdens -. and to let the oppressed go free.”

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavour, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are — but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation” — a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavour will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.


  • Magna Carta
  • The Letter of Columbus to Luis De Sant Angel Announcing His Discovery
  • The Mayflower Compact
  • Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges
  • Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Constitution of the United States
  • Bill of Rights and Later Amendments
  • Petition from the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery
  • To those who keep slaves, and approve the practice
  • Washington’s Farewell Address
  • The Star Spangled Banner
  • The Monroe Doctrine
  • Harkins to American People
  • Daniel Webster’s “Seventh of March” Speech
  • Lincoln’s House Divided Speech
  • Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address
  • The Emancipation Proclamation
  • Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address
  • The Gettysburg Address
  • The Pledge of Allegiance
  • The American’s Creed
  • FDR’s Infamy Speech
  • The Economic Bill of Rights
  • Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You

What is 5G and what will it mean for you?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption High-speed mobile could enable robots, sensors and other machines to communicate

Superfast fifth generation, or 5G, mobile internet services are already on offer. You can’t get it everywhere yet and handset choices remains limited.

But that will change in the coming months, so what difference will 5G make to our lives?

What is 5G exactly?

It’s the next generation of mobile internet connection and offers much faster data download and upload speeds.

Through greater use of the radio spectrum it will allow far more devices to access the mobile internet at the same time.

What will it enable us to do?

“Whatever we do now with our smartphones we’ll be able to do faster and better,” says Ian Fogg from OpenSignal, a mobile data analytics company.

“Think of smart glasses featuring augmented reality, mobile virtual reality, much higher quality video, the internet of things making cities smarter.

“But what’s really exciting is all the new services that will be built that we can’t foresee.”

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Driverless cars will be able to “talk” to each other and traffic management systems

Imagine swarms of drones co-operating to carry out search and rescue missions, fire assessments and traffic monitoring, all communicating wirelessly with each other and ground base stations over 5G networks.

Similarly, many think 5G will be crucial for autonomous vehicles to communicate with each other and read live map and traffic data.

Mobile gamers should notice less delay – or latency – when pressing a button on a controller and seeing the effect on screen.

Mobile videos should be near instantaneous and glitch-free. Video calls should become clearer and less jerky. Wearable fitness devices could monitor your health in real time, alerting doctors as soon as any emergency arises.

How does it work?

It’s a new radio technology, but you might not notice vastly higher speeds at first because 5G is likely to be used by network operators initially as a way to boost capacity on existing 4G core networks, to ensure a more consistent service for customers.

The speed you get will depend on which spectrum band the operator runs the 5G technology on and how much your carrier has invested in new masts and transmitters.

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWATCH: What the superfast 5G connection will mean

So we may see clusters of smaller phone masts closer to the ground transmitting so-called “millimetre waves” between much higher numbers of transmitters and receivers. This will enable higher density of usage. But it’s expensive and companies could face challenges deploying lots of new masts.

So how fast could it be?

The fastest current 4G mobile networks offer about 45Mbps (megabits per second) on average, although the industry is still hopeful of achieving 1Gbps (gigabit per second = 1,000Mbps)

Chipmaker Qualcomm reckons 5G could achieve browsing and download speeds about 10 to 20 times faster in real-world (as opposed to laboratory) conditions.

That would allow you to download a high-definition film in a minute or so.

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDoes Nokia’s lightning-quick 5G demo give us a glimpse of the future?

The big improvement in speed and latency will come when service providers roll out standalone 5G networks, where both the core and radio networks use 5G tech.

They could easily achieve gigabit-plus browsing speeds as standard. But these aren’t likely to come until next year in the UK.

Why do we need it?

The world is going mobile and we’re consuming more data every year, particularly as the popularity of video and music streaming increases. Existing spectrum bands are becoming congested, leading to breakdowns in service, particularly when lots of people in the same area are trying to access online mobile services at the same time.

5G is much better at handling thousands of devices simultaneously, from mobiles to equipment sensors, video cameras to smart street lights.

Will I need a new phone?

Yes. But when 4G was introduced in 2009/10, compatible smart phones came onto the market before the infrastructure had been rolled out fully, leading to some frustration amongst consumers who felt they were paying more in subscriptions for a patchy service.

Will it work in rural areas?

Lack of signal and low data speeds in rural areas is a common complaint in the UK and many other countries. But 5G won’t necessarily address this issue as it will operate on high-frequency bands – to start with at least – that have a lot of capacity but cover shorter distances. 5G will primarily be an urban service for densely populated areas.

Lower-frequency bands (600-800Mhz typically) are better over longer distances, so network operators will concentrate on improving their 4G LTE coverage in parallel with 5G roll-out.

But commercial reality means that for some people in very remote areas, connectivity will still be patchy at best without government subsidy making it worthwhile for network operators to go to these places.

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