The stunt was arranged by a Durban IT company Unlimited IT who were miffed at South Africa Telekom’s broadband speed.
Winston the pigeon carried 4Gb of data on a flash drive strapped to its leg. The ISP had to send the same amount of data to the same place 60 miles away.
The bird flew across to the other centre in 1 hour and 8 minutes. Transferring the data from the pen drive which was strapped to the bird, to the company’s system took another hour. That’s 2 hours and 8 minutes, in which time, Telkom’s service had only uploaded 4 per cent of the data from the sending end.
Of course if the pigeon had been carrying a coconut it would have been a different matter, and of course it would have been an African pigeon in this case, so it is possible to calculate the wind speed fairly effectively.
Meanwhile Telkom said it could not be blamed for slow broadband services at the Durban-based company.
"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. Clearly it is better off with Winston.