Ah Those Victorious Pigeons

September 17th, 2010 by · 1 Comment

Hmmm, something about carrier pigeons and bandwidth seems to grab at the media, which makes it a popular stunt for those complaining about slow broadband connections.  This time it was in the UK, where Trefor Davies of Timico staged another race, following up on last year’s uneven African match.  On the right, a rural broadband connection achieving average upload speeds of 200kbps.  On the left, two carrier pigeons by the name of Rory and Tref, each with a data card strapped to his leg.  It wouldn’t be news unless the pigeons won, so of course they did.  

The birds landed while the data transfer was just 24%, thus achieving something like 500Kbps, assuming one takes into account the copying on either end – which they didn’t.  Nor was it a fair fight from the beginning, as the file was being uploaded to YouTube via the connection, but transported an arbitrary 65 miles by the birds (as the pigeon flies).  Notably, the pigeons also beat the human, who took a wrong turn – but I suppose he could have filled his car with a basket of memory cards to raise his effective bandwidth.

And this means…. nothing, except that rural UK broadband speeds drive residents crazy enough to strap memory cards to birds, which I suppose was the point to begin with.  I’ll bet you though that with a bigger budget for higher capacity memory cards or more lighter ones, the pigeons could have beat WiMAX too – call it LFE (Long Feather Evolution) under the right carefully designed conditions.  It’s just a publicity stunt designed to get chumps (like me) to write about it.  Guess it worked.  What the heck, it’s Friday, and it’s two pigeons named Rory and Tref. TGIF.

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Categories: Internet Traffic

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  • cyberdoyle says:

    You’re not a chump. At least you cared enough to write about it, and help the people in the final third who can’t get a decent connection. Many around me here in the north within 10km of a city still on dial up.

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