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Homing Pigeon vs. South African Internet

October 1, 2009  »  UncategorizedNo Comment

Recently, a South African call-center business, frustrated with its slow Internet connection, decided to transfer data between two of its offices – via messenger pigeon. The pigeon traveled 50 miles with 4gb of data in just over 2 hours; only 100mb was sent over the hard line in that time. Publicity stunt aside (the race was hyped on multiple social media fronts), this event marks the difficulties of Sub-Saharan Africa, let alone relatively well-to-do South Africa, in establishing adequate bandwidth for the entire population. In this case, the South African company experienced a transfer speed of approximately 14 kb/s. As a reference the United States witnessed these download speeds on business lines at least 10 years ago.