Carrier Pigeon faster than the Internet

So you think your Internet connection is fast eh. Well most of the time it is pretty good but it can also depend on where you live.

It’s one thing to live in the city and have your pick of high speed broadband providers to pick from but it is another thing entirely when you live in the country. It is so bad in some places that people have taken to pulling all kinds of stunts to show the world just how bad it can be.

This is what Trefor Davies from Yorkshire England did recently when he set the pigeons loose – carrier pigeons to be exact. The idea was to have two of Trefor’s carrier pigeons, Rory and Tref, fitted with microSD memory cards containing server hundred megabytes of video and then release them from a farm about 60 miles away from home.

At the same time at the pigeons were released the farmer would upload the same files to YouTube via his Internet connection.

The stunt was designed to have the pigeons win, of course, just as it was in South Africa. On his personal website, Davies said this week that he was “expecting a convincing avian victory.”

Davies isn’t just a concerned citizen; he’s also the chief technical officer of a UK ISP called Timico, and he’s upset about the state of UK broadband outside of urban areas, especially when it comes to upload speeds. He told the BBC today that “the farm we are using has a connection of around 100 to 200 Kbps (kilobits per second)… The kids need to do school work and the farmer has to submit online forms but the connection is not fit for purpose.”

The test doesn’t show much—why not have the pigeons fly to YouTube’s servers for a more accurate comparison?—but pedantic questioning misses the point, which is clearly that the media loves ridiculous stories involving animals that slow upload speeds can easily keep people from anything like full participation in online social life and that rural users are on the wrong side of a digital divide

Source: Ars Technica

Needless to say this was a stunt and the pigeons did win the race but you still got to admit it’s a fun way to illustrate just how bad broadband connectivity can be.