Pigeon Transfers Data Faster Than South Africa’s Telkom

Reuters, September 9, 2009

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.

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