Science & Technology

Pigeon Race 2009: Will A Homing Pigeon Beat The Telco Giant?

In a satirical attempt to highlight slow and often inconsistent transfer speeds in South Africa, a financial services company has decided to host Pigeon Race 2009. The company postulates that in a data race, a pigeon could haul a 4GB file to a location faster than it can be transferred through a normal land line. The affable 11-month old homing pigeon, named Winston, will have a 4 GB flash stick SD card strapped to its leg and will fly from the company’s call centre in Howick to its head office in Hillcrest, Durban, a distance of 80 km.

Risking bad weather and death by predatory hawks, the pigeon is expected to arrive in 45 minutes whilst the landline transfer is expected to take two days. The race is expected to start tomorrow. Keep updated with the story on Pigeon Race 2009.

Already people have placed more favour with the pigeon over the telco giant – a commenter on The Times article feels that the pigeon will be faster even if it walks. And some MyBroadband forum members think someone will shoot the bird so they can braai it. Others think Telkom might be hard at working trying to secure an unimpeded connection to secure the win.

What are your thoughts?

[via MyBroadband]

Update (09/09/09):  Winston did not disappoint his 1000+ Facebook fans, landing safely in 2 hours 6 minutes and 57 seconds. At that point the ADSL transfer still around four percent complete. A round of applause  for Winston and birdband :yes:

News travels fast – Winston makes it onto the Daily Mail and gets Slashdotted.

6 replies on “Pigeon Race 2009: Will A Homing Pigeon Beat The Telco Giant?”

the sad thing is that if telkom could make their 4mb line run at 100% max speed, Winston would still have won by roughly 3 minutes.

Update: Telkom says they are not to blame for the company’s slow ADSL speed.

Several recommendations have, in the past, been made to the customer but none of these have, to date, been accepted. It must also be noted that Telkom is not the customer’s core service provider

From IOL.

Update 2: Telkom’s official statement is here. They say they’re not to blame as the customer has an up-to 512kbps service, but as you mentioned easy, even at the full rate, ADSL would still have come second.