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I don't understand the point.

Surely TTFB is used to measure server latency (basically a ping). Why would TTFB be used as a proxy for page load speed when you could just use...page load speed?

I believe they're referring to using TTFB as a performance test, to measure how long took the server to process your request.

This is metric that is commonly used in the popular webpagetest.org performances test

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