Saturday, September 12, 2009

They got the dial-up blues

Remember the old joke, "it'd be faster to send it by carrier pigeon?". In South Africa it appears to be actually true:

"A South African information technology company on Wednesday proved it was faster for them to transmit data with a carrier pigeon than to send it using Telkom , the country's leading internet service provider.

Internet speed and connectivity in Africa's largest economy are poor because of a bandwidth shortage. It is also expensive.

Local news agency SAPA reported the 11-month-old pigeon, Winston, took one hour and eight minutes to fly the 80 km (50 miles) from Unlimited IT's offices near Pietermaritzburg to the coastal city of Durban with a data card was strapped to his leg.

Including downloading, the transfer took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds -- the time it took for only four percent of the data to be transferred using a Telkom line.

SAPA said Unlimited IT performed the stunt after becoming frustrated with slow internet transmission times.

The company has 11 call-centers around the country and regularly sends data to its other branches.

Telkom could not immediately be reached for comment."


The best parts of this story are (1) the pigeon's name, and (2) the last sentence!

Hat tip to Mrs. Angus



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway."

But the latency sucks.

mjh said...

Anonymous beat me to it! That is an adage that I learned back in 1989 in my computer networking class.

Shawn said...

"Internet speed and connectivity in Africa's largest economy are poor because of a bandwidth shortage. It is also expensive."

...sounds like it's not expensive enough.

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