A South African information technology company on Wednesday proved it was faster for them to transmit data with a carrier pigeon than to send it using Telkom , the country's leading internet service provider.
I think that's a bit of a misdirection. I'm not an expert, but I was under the impression that Telkom was the sole provider of internet infrastructure in SA. I think ISP's in SA simply sell "value-add" services on top of Telkom's infrastructure. There is no local loop unbundling, or any real competition at the infrastructure end of things.
Internet speed and connectivity in Africa's largest economy are poor because of a bandwidth shortage. It is also expensive.
It is more expensive and slower than in Somalia, for fuck's sake! Somalia! Just fucking think about that! The Somalis have such a fucked society that "since there is no reliable law and order and a functional court system, bills are paid and contracts are enforced by relying on the traditional clan based system." And their telecomms industry is still fucking better than a state monopoly in one of Africa's better-run economies. (Well, much fucking better run than ours, anyway. South Africans seem to regard their "chancellor" equivalent as a fucking hero, just think about that for a minute!)
Local news agency SAPA reported the 11-month-old pigeon, Winston, took one hour and eight minutes to fly the 80 km (50 miles) from Unlimited IT's offices near Pietermaritzburg to the coastal city of Durban with a data card was strapped to his leg.
Including downloading, the transfer took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds -- the time it took for only four percent of the data to be transferred using a Telkom line.
How fucked is that? And doesn't it sound just like the good old days of BT-only?