Carrier Pigeon Faster Than Broadband Internet

September 11th, 2009 by Lisa Zyga in Technology / Telecom
Carrier pigeon. Credit: Wikimedia.


Carrier pigeon. Credit: Wikimedia.

(PhysOrg.com) -- In South Africa, a carrier pigeon carrying a 4GB memory stick proved to be faster than the ADSL service from the country's biggest web firm, Telkom. Winston the pigeon took one hour and eight minutes to carry the data across the 60-mile course, and it took another hour to upload the data. During the same time, the ADSL had sent just 4% of the data.

The race was held by an IT company in Durban, South Africa, called Unlimited IT. One of Unlimited IT's employees complained about the slow speed of data transmission on ADSL, saying that data would get transferred faster by carrier pigeon. To highlight just how slow the is, the company decided to test that claim.

The 11-month-old Winston flew 60 miles from Unlimited IT's call center in Howick to another office in Durban. To make sure that the bird didn't have an unfair advantage, Unlimited IT imposed some rules on its website, including "no cats allowed" and "birdseed must not have any performance-enhancing seeds within." Hundreds of South Africans followed the race on Facebook and Twitter.

For its part, Telkom said that it was not responsible for Unlimited IT's slow broadband speeds. A Telkom spokesperson said that they had made several recommendations to Unlimited IT to improve its service, but none of the suggestions had been accepted.

As the BBC reports, South Africa is one of the countries that could benefit from three new fiber optic cables being laid around the African continent to improve internet service.

via: BBC News

© 2009 PhysOrg.com

"Carrier Pigeon Faster Than Broadband Internet." September 11th, 2009. http://phys.org/news171883994.html