Carrier pigeon outperforms South African Internet
I can’t believe this was published in the ultra liberal USA Today:
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters)—A South African information technology company on Wednesday proved that it was faster for them to transmit data with a carrier pigeon than to send it using Telkom, the country’s leading Internet service provider.
Internet speed and connectivity in Africa’s largest economy are poor because of a bandwidth shortage. It is also expensive.
Local news agency SAPA reported the 11-month-old pigeon, Winston, took one hour and eight minutes to fly the 50 miles from Unlimited IT’s offices near Pietermaritzburg to the coastal city of Durban with a data card was strapped to his leg.
Including downloading, the transfer took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds—the time it took for only 4% of the data to be transferred using a Telkom line.
SAPA said Unlimited IT performed the stunt after becoming frustrated with slow internet transmission times.
The company has 11 call-centers around the country and regularly sends data to its other branches.
Telkom could not immediately be reached for comment.
Internet speed is expected to improve once a 17,000 km underwater fiber optic cable linking southern and East Africa to other networks becomes operational before South Africa hosts the soccer World Cup next year.
Local service providers are currently negotiating deals for more bandwidth.
Copyright 2009 Reuters Limited.
Microsoft did a study of optimal ways of transferring huge amounts of data. They found that the best way was to have a computer full of hard drives, put the data on there, and ship the box overnight express. The throughput on this method can be quite high, as you can ship multiple boxes at once.Ken Hechtman writes:
USA Today fell for an old computer science classroom exercise used to illustrate the difference between “latency” and “bandwidth”. The point of the exercise is that if the data stick is big enough, the bird will always win against any network connection.LA replies:
Yes, that thought was in my mind too, but only half-thought out, I didn’t complete the thought.Evan H. writes:
You shouldn’t feel too bad. I looked up the original article.LA replies:
Thanks for that. Maybe USA Today thought that references to megabytes and kilobytes would be too advanced for its readers.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 10, 2009 01:14 PM | Send