Back in the day, I recall proposing that a test for whether the Internet has arrived is whether it would be quicker to download a movie or take the time to go to the video store and pick the DVD up. We aren’t there yet. Indeed, according to this story in The Age, it’s worse.
A South African information technology company 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 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.
And you wondered why owls were still used in Harry Potter’s world. Nothing magic about that.