Retuers, via Yahoo!, reports that a South African IT company has found that it can transfer files between offices faster by using an airborne carrier than by using the services of SA Telkom. The carrier used in the transfer between Unlimited IT’s office near Pietermaritzburg to its office in Durban was an 11-month-old pigeon named Winston. Winston covered the 80 km distance in one hour and eight minutes with a data card attached to his leg.
Including downloading, the transfer took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds — the time it took for only four percent of the data to be transferred using a Telkom line.
There is a serious bandwidth shortage to, from, and within South Africa, which has the continent’s largest economy; and what capacity is available is very expensive. (Apparently the transfer by Winston was cheaper, as well as faster, even including the cost of bird seed.) There are some projects underway to provide new capacity, but these of course take time.
The story would not really be complete without the classic tag line:
Telkom could not immediately be reached for comment.
Perhaps it just took the inquiry too long to get through.