Homing Pigeons Faster than Broadband in South Africa

Dennis Faas's picture

The next time you complain about a slow broadband connection or a lengthy file upload time, remember the people of Durban, South Africa.

In an attempt to circumvent their slow broadband connection, a financial service company recently let their time-saving creativity take flight... literally.

The experimental, but surprisingly evenly-matched, competition pitted a homing pigeon bearing a 4GB USB stick against the local Durban broadband connection to determine once and for all which form of data transfer was the fastest. The estimated distance between the two offices was 80 km. (Source: pcpro.co.uk)

Winston Wins -- by a Mile (or More)

The result of the race: the homing pigeon, named Winston, was declared the victor. In fact, the competition wasn't even close. Winston arrived at his destination, safe and sound, in two hours and seventeen minutes.

How did the broadband connection fare?

At two hours and seventeen minutes the data was only four per cent complete! This means that homing pigeons are actually 25 times faster than the local broadband connection in Durban.

Harsh Weather Conditions Present Problems

Winston and the local broadband connection share similar vulnerabilities, including harsh weather conditions. If there is storm, Winston will take considerably longer to reach his final destination. In comparison, a storm almost always means that the Internet will go down in this part of the world.

However, when you consider the fact that it takes about two days to repair the connection, it still appears as if homing pigeons are the most efficient way to transmit data. The only "advantage" broadband seemingly has over a homing pigeon is that it cannot be eaten by a preying hawk during data transmittal (although a hawk could chew through the computer wires if it really wanted to). (Source: itpro.co.uk)

So, what's next for the Homing Pigeons of Durban? The financial service business believes that Winston could eventually be trained to transmit the data via USB stick in under 45 minutes.

How's that for a hi-speed upgrade?

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