Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Pigeon Beats Broadband in Speed Test... Again

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 73 comments

Man vs. Nature. Nature wins.

Just over a year ago, we learned about unhappy users of the South African ISP Telkom in Durban. Some IT workers decided figured that it'd be faster to send a pigeon with a USB stick to the data's destination rather than doing an FTP upload.

It was a demonstration of how slow the ISP was, and now the same stunt has been pulled off in England to illustrate a similar point.

According to the BBC, a carrier pigeon left East Yorkshire for Lincolnshire and was able to deliver a five-minute video file from Beverley to Wrangle faster than a local broadband connection could upload the same content to a video sharing site.

Rory the pigeon completed the task in 80 minutes.

This stunt was a part of a campaign to highlight the problem with the county's rural broadband.

Pigeon Beats Broadband... Again

Display 73 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 39 Hide
    Haserath , November 14, 2010 2:15 PM
    Well, my download rate is 30 pigeons and my upload rate is 10 pigeons. What about you?
  • 19 Hide
    DM0407 , November 14, 2010 6:16 PM
    Can you get sued for Pigeon2Pigeon file sharing?
  • 16 Hide
    kelemvor4 , November 14, 2010 12:27 PM
    They should install Jefferies tubes and get a bunch of mice running through them to solve the problem permanently.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    Silmarunya , November 14, 2010 12:12 PM
    No surprise to me. I currently have Internet over COAX (EURODOCSIS), which has pretty good download speeds, but upload is terrible...
  • 16 Hide
    kelemvor4 , November 14, 2010 12:27 PM
    They should install Jefferies tubes and get a bunch of mice running through them to solve the problem permanently.
  • 2 Hide
    taidaan , November 14, 2010 12:57 PM
    Sounds like a problem that most of rural America may share. My upload speed is 250 Kbps on a good day.
  • 11 Hide
    idisarmu , November 14, 2010 1:05 PM
    taidaanSounds like a problem that most of rural America may share. My upload speed is 250 Kbps on a good day.


    That's still 10 times my average. According to speedtest, I usually get about 0.7-1.2 mbits down and 0.25-0.5 mbits up. I pay $45/month for something advertised to be 2.0 mbits down and 768 kbits up. Rural Canada blows.
  • 5 Hide
    nurgletheunclean , November 14, 2010 1:06 PM
    taidaanSounds like a problem that most of rural America may share. My upload speed is 250 Kbps on a good day.

    That's really not that bad. Many people in rural areas are relegated to using satellite for their internet and upload speeds are slower than dialup.
  • 12 Hide
    aaron88_7 , November 14, 2010 1:32 PM
    As long as this Pigeon ISP offers Netflix I'm in!
  • 6 Hide
    liveonc , November 14, 2010 2:06 PM
    Even after this test, they can still beat it for several years with a 64GB USB 3.0 pen drive. ;-)
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , November 14, 2010 2:09 PM
    This could be done anywhere in the world with a 32GB stick or a stack of microSD cards.
  • 39 Hide
    Haserath , November 14, 2010 2:15 PM
    Well, my download rate is 30 pigeons and my upload rate is 10 pigeons. What about you?
  • 2 Hide
    Haserath , November 14, 2010 2:21 PM
    The cost for making rural broadband would be huge compared to the return that the companies would get. The only reason that city speeds are faster for less is that they can service more people with the same lines and the length from the main hub isn't very far compared to rural areas. Gotta choose whether to live in the rural areas with less speed or live in the city with more, cost is the main issue here.
  • 1 Hide
    blibba , November 14, 2010 2:32 PM
    liveoncEven after this test, they can still beat it for several years with a 64GB USB 3.0 pen drive. ;-)

    killerclickThis could be done anywhere in the world with a 32GB stick or a stack of microSD cards.


    And by having the pigeon fly 50 yards, not to another county.
  • 2 Hide
    sykozis , November 14, 2010 2:46 PM
    HaserathThe cost for making rural broadband would be huge compared to the return that the companies would get. The only reason that city speeds are faster for less is that they can service more people with the same lines and the length from the main hub isn't very far compared to rural areas. Gotta choose whether to live in the rural areas with less speed or live in the city with more, cost is the main issue here.


    If the rurals areas have cable tv....then offering cable internet doesn't add much to the cost at all, compared to the number of possible subscribers.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 14, 2010 2:46 PM
    @haserath cost isn't the issue, it's corporate profit margins that are the problem. If you take into account the social capital which comes from rural nextgen broadband, as well as the £££s, then installing into rural areas becomes a no brainer.
  • 3 Hide
    azgard , November 14, 2010 3:00 PM
    idisarmuThat's still 10 times my average. According to speedtest, I usually get about 0.7-1.2 mbits down and 0.25-0.5 mbits up. I pay $45/month for something advertised to be 2.0 mbits down and 768 kbits up. Rural Canada blows.


    256k down 160k up
    for $55 rural America at its best.
  • -7 Hide
    duk3 , November 14, 2010 3:16 PM
    20mbs up, 3 down
    I like comcast
  • 3 Hide
    towely , November 14, 2010 3:27 PM
    taidaanSounds like a problem that most of rural America may share. My upload speed is 250 Kbps on a good day.


    I guess you've never been to Africa?
  • 2 Hide
    pepperman , November 14, 2010 4:15 PM
    idisarmuThat's still 10 times my average. According to speedtest, I usually get about 0.7-1.2 mbits down and 0.25-0.5 mbits up. I pay $45/month for something advertised to be 2.0 mbits down and 768 kbits up. Rural Canada blows.


    1 Kbps = .001 Mbps so 250Kbps = .25Mbps
  • 3 Hide
    siliconchampion , November 14, 2010 5:48 PM
    81 Mbps down. 13 Mbps up. Non-rural American universities at their (near) best. (Oh, yeah, it's free...)
  • -3 Hide
    Startingline13 , November 14, 2010 5:58 PM
    2.5 Mbps Download
    2.1 Mbps Up


    Long Island, NY (Optimum Online) FTL!
  • 0 Hide
    igot1forya , November 14, 2010 6:00 PM
    A local ISP just installed fiber down main street and offers 75Mb-up/75Mb-down full symmetrical for $250/month. The bad part is that I live 6 miles outside of town in the rurals and have wireless DSL (3Mb-down-750Kb-up).
Display more comments