This article on bufferbloat by Jim Gettys and Kathleen Nichols is profound and is a MUST read for anyone who cares about network performance. It delves into the history of TCP/IP performance problems and describes the performance problems that affect us today. The writing is very clear and engaging.
I particularly found the historical parts interesting. I remember dealing with congestion problems in the early and mid 90s (most notably, remote telescope operation and data retrieval between Wisconsin and Arizona) and marveling at the Internet community’s success at overcoming one problem after another as demand grew explosively.