Telecom Timeout

Sep 14 2009   6:59PM GMT

Broadband is for the birds…

Jessica Scarpati Jessica Scarpati Profile: Jessica Scarpati

…or at least it is in South Africa.

Aggravated by data transimission delays on the ADSL service from the country’s biggest telecom carrier, an irritated IT staffer decided to pit ADSL speeds against an 11-month-old carrier pigeon named “Winston” , the BBC reported.

Staffers from Unlimited IT of Durban, South Africa, strapped a 4GB memory stick to Winston’s leg and set him loose as they began a file transfer to the same location with the same data on the stick.

Guess who won?

The phrase “early bird” doesn’t even begin to describe it. Winston flew the data 60 miles to its destination in two hours. By the time Winston got to his destination, Telkom had only sent 4% of the data.

It was a clean race, too. Like an elite athlete should expect, Winston obeyed regulations that his “birdseed must not have any performance-enhancing seeds.”

Needless to say, the race ruffled a few feathers at the partially government-owned carrier, which shrugged off any possible blame for the slow broadband services at Unlimited IT.

“Several recommendations have, in the past, been made to the customer but none of these have, to date, been accepted,” Telkom’s Troy Hector told South Africa’s Sapa news agency in an e-mail, the BBC reported.

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