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It seems that every country wants to test if their broadband is faster than a pigeon. South Africa did it first, then the United Kingdom and Australia (see funny video below). By now I think us humans have established that pigeons are indeed faster than the average broadband. They are superior and we must accept this! I think the pigeons are thinking, “How many times do we need to beat them? What must we do to make them realise we are the best?”

So in the interest of the pigeon, please, let the poor birds rest! I think they’ve done enough. :)

Remember the story of the South African pigeon that was faster than broadband? (see: Pigeon faster than broadband) Well, recently there was a similar stunt performed, this time in the UK.

Now that we know that pigeons are faster than broadband maybe we should employ them to carry our messages – like in the olden days! :)

The following article is from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11325452

16 September 2010 Last updated at 16:12

Pigeon flies past broadband in data speed race

Pigeon at a Greek train station
In urban areas, broadband cleanly wins, but rural areas are a different story

Broadband is the most modern of communication means, while carrier pigeons date back to Roman times.

But on Thursday, a race between the two highlighted the low speeds of rural broadband in the UK; the pigeon won.

Ten USB key-laden pigeons were released from a Yorkshire farm at the same time a five-minute video upload was begun.

An hour and a quarter later, the pigeons had reached their destination in Skegness 120km away, while only 24% of a 300MB file had uploaded.

Campaigners say the stunt was being carried out to illustrate that broadband in some parts of the UK is still “not fit for purpose”.

It is not the first time that such a race has taken place. Last year a similar experiment in Durban, South Africa saw Winston the pigeon take two hours to finish a 96km journey. In the same time just 4% of a 4GB file had downloaded.

The pigeons are expected to complete a 120km journey to Skegness in around two hours, but Tref Davies, who is organising the stunt to give publicity to the campaign for better rural broadband, said the broadband connection will take significantly longer to transfer the 300MB file.

“The farm we are using has a connection of around 100 to 200 Kbps (kilobits per second),” Tref Davies, the stunt’s organiser, told BBC News on Thursday morning.

“The kids need to do school work and the farmer has to submit online forms but the connection is not fit for purpose.”

Mr Davies, who is co-founder of business ISP Timico and serves on the board of ISPA (Internet Service Providers’ Association), believes the issue is one that industry and government needs to address.

“This is the UK. It should be well-connected but around a third of homes still can’t get broadband,” he said.

However, BT disputes his figures. A spokesperson said that 99% of homes could now get broadband, leaving an estimated 160,000 lines “where excessive line length means broadband won’t work”.

Speed test

Even among those who can get broadband, rural areas are fighting to get reasonable speeds.

Research commissioned by the BBC last year found that around three million homes in the UK had internet connections of below 2Mbps (megabits per second).

The government has committed to delivering a minimum of 2Mbps to every home by 2015.

However, a recent report by communications watchdog Ofcom found that while these “headline speeds” were on the rise, they are not the relevant measure for broadband customers.

According to the report, “although headline speeds increased by nearly 50% between April 2009 and May 2010, actual speeds delivered increased by just 27%, and averaged just 46% of headline speeds”.

Lloyd Felton, founder of the Rural Broadband Partnership, said the effort to draw attention to rural broadband deprivation and low speeds was laudable.

“It’s true that there are particular areas of the country that suffer much more than others,” Mr Felton told BBC News.

“You’ve got massive deprivation – this long-quoted ‘digital divide’. As we all get more dependent on the internet, that divide gets wider.

“In the end it’s who takes ownership and responsibility for co-ordinating how a parish is going to handle it – what we say is that ‘communities need to help themselves to broadband’.”

Go, pigeon, go!!!

At least we know that the world wouldn’t fall apart if the internet went down! Pigeons would rule the world!

The following article is from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8248056.stm

There’s a brief video of the race on that website.

SA pigeon ‘faster than broadband’

Broadband promised to unite the world with super-fast data delivery – but in South Africa it seems the web is still no faster than a humble pigeon.

A Durban IT company pitted an 11-month-old bird armed with a 4GB memory stick against the ADSL service from the country’s biggest web firm, Telkom.

Winston the pigeon took two hours to carry the data 60 miles – in the same time the ADSL had sent 4% of the data.

Telkom said it was not responsible for the firm’s slow internet speeds.

The idea for the race came when a member of staff at Unlimited IT complained about the speed of data transmission on ADSL. He said it would be faster by carrier pigeon.

“We renown ourselves on being innovative, so we decided to test that statement,” Unlimited’s Kevin Rolfe told the Beeld newspaper.

‘No cats allowed’

Winston took off from Unlimited IT’s call centre in the town of Howick to deliver the memory stick to the firm’s office in Durban.

According to Winston’s website there were strict rules in place to ensure he had no unfair advantage. They included “no cats allowed” and “birdseed must not have any performance-enhancing seeds within”.

The firm said Winston took one hour and eight minutes to fly between the offices, and the data took another hour to upload on to their system.

Mr Rolfe said the ADSL transmission of the same data size was about 4% complete in the same time.

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

“Winston is over the moon,” Mr Rolfe said. “He is happy to be back at the office and is now just chilling with his friends.”

Meanwhile Telkom said it could not be blamed for slow broadband services at the Durban-based company. “Several recommendations have, in the past, been made to the customer but none of these have, to date, been accepted,” Telkom’s Troy Hector told South Africa’s Sapa news agency in an e-mail.

South Africa is one of the countries hoping to benefit from three new fibre optic cables being laid around the African continent to improve internet connections.

"Winston is over the moon" Kevin Rolfe