Until 2010, carrier pigeons were faster than the internet

Until 2010, carrier pigeons were faster than the internet:

This was done for fun, but it was also to make a serious point. Outside of major cities, Internet connectivity is still awful. I should know.

When I first moved to the Blue Ridge mountains outside of Asheville, NC, I had to go back to a dial-up connection. Yes, there are still places where dial-up is all you can do. Let me tell you right now, 56Kbps sucks dead gophers through rusty tail-pipes.

“When comparing upload speeds, a test was done to fly a carrier pigeon with a USB stick 50 miles to an internet provider, while racing against aninternet upload. The pigeon made it in just over an hour, while the upload took over two hours.”

The 11-month-old Winston flew 60 miles from Unlimited IT’s call center in Howick to another office in Durban.

To make sure that the bird didn’t have an unfair advantage, Unlimited IT imposed some rules on its website, including “no cats allowed” and “birdseed must not have any performance-enhancing seeds within.”

Hundreds of South Africans followed the race on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

For its part, Telkom said that it was not responsible for Unlimited IT’s slow broadband speeds.

A Telkom spokesperson said that they had made several recommendations to Unlimited IT to improve its service, but none of the suggestions had been accepted.

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