In South Africa, Homing Pigeons Are Much Faster Than The Internet

Looks like Telkom, South Africa’s leading Internet service provider is facing some unexpected competition. Recently, a homing pigeon named Winston had beaten the Internet in a challenge to transfer data from one place to another. Employees at a South African call-center business who were maddened by the persistently slow Internet speeds made use of an 11-month-old homing pigeon strapped with a memory stick to transfer 4 gigabytes of data between two of its offices, just 50 miles apart.

Surprisingly, Winston, the pigeon emerged as champion and both timings were of a vast difference. It took Winston approximately two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds to reach its destination. On the other hand, a concurrent ADSL download had managed to move around 100 megabytes (4 per cent of the total), a far cry from the carrier pigeon’s.

The financial services company, called Unlimited Group, which is based in Durban, said it does not have any plans to abandon the broadband service and embrace the use of homing pigeons.
The Egyptians and the Persians first used homing pigeons to deliver messages from a location to another 3,000 years ago. They also were used to proclaim the winner of the Olympics. Messenger pigeons were used as early as 1150 in Baghdad and later by Genghis Khan.