Carrier pigeons beat broadband with 533Kbps data rate

Posted by Emma Woollacott

In a shameless but nonetheless very entertaining stunt, carrier pigeons have beaten British rural broadband in a 120 kilometer race.

Aiming to highlight lousy broadband speeds in rural areas, Tref Davies of ISP Timico released ten pigeons sporting microSD cards strapped to their legs from a Yorkshire farm. At the same time, he started uploading a 300MB, five minute video of his hair being cut (no, we don't know why either).

An hour and a quarter later, the upload was only a quarter complete. The pigeons, on the other hand, had arrived in Skegness, and were enjoying some well-earned bird seed. It means they'd achieved a very respectable 533Kbps.

Davies told the BBC that the farm had a connection of only 100 to 200Kbps, which he said wasn't fit for purpose.

"This is the UK. It should be well-connected but around a third of homes still can't get broadband," he said.

BT claims that broadband is more or less universal, the only exceptions being particularly remote places.

However, a recent report from regulator Ofcom  found that the majority of UK users were getting far lower speeds than the headline speed advertised.

It's not the first time that our avian friends have beaten broadband in a race. Last year, a similar trial took place in Durban, South Africa, and saw Winston the pigeon deliver a 4GB file in the time it took to download just four percent.