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Pigeon Beats Broadband in Speed Test... Again

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Silmarunya
    No surprise to me. I currently have Internet over COAX (EURODOCSIS), which has pretty good download speeds, but upload is terrible...
    Reply
  • kelemvor4
    They should install Jefferies tubes and get a bunch of mice running through them to solve the problem permanently.
    Reply
  • taidaan
    Sounds like a problem that most of rural America may share. My upload speed is 250 Kbps on a good day.
    Reply
  • idisarmu
    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.
    Reply
  • nurgletheunclean
    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.
    Reply
  • aaron88_7
    As long as this Pigeon ISP offers Netflix I'm in!
    Reply
  • liveonc
    Even after this test, they can still beat it for several years with a 64GB USB 3.0 pen drive. ;-)
    Reply
  • killerclick
    This could be done anywhere in the world with a 32GB stick or a stack of microSD cards.
    Reply
  • Haserath
    Well, my download rate is 30 pigeons and my upload rate is 10 pigeons. What about you?
    Reply
  • Haserath
    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.
    Reply