Optical Pigeon

Thoughts By 8 years ago

This year the Australian Government committed $43 Billion to the establishment of a superfast broadband network to home and workplaces across the country. It promises to offer speeds of between 13 and 30Mbps. My current connection loads Facebook, email, Youtube etc in a matter of seconds, so unless I begin to transfer Gigabyte files, I personally don’t need any more speed.

Just say I do need to transfer, say a 256 GB file to Sydney, would the new network be useful?

Buy a pigeon!

Not all countries have the luxury of superfast internet, take South Africa for example. Unlimited IT, a company based in Durbin, needed to send a large file to Pietermaritzburg, 80KM away. Emailing the file would have taken days, so they entrusted a 4GB USB stick to a carrier pigeon, Winston.

Winston the carrier pigeon took a little over an hour to fly from the office to the destination.

Lets go back to my 256 GB file, should I employ a flock of pigeons, or use the National Broadband Network?

The Calculation

Lets assume that I am the only person in the country logged onto the network, so I get full speed at 30 Mbps. It would take 17 hours and 58 minutes to send my file form Melbourne to Sydney.

Now for the pidgeon with a 256 GB memory stick strapped to its leg. Winston would travel 883 kilometers, at a speed of 71.45 KM/H (according to the story), and would arrive at Circular Quay NSW in 12 hours and 21 minutes.

Thats 5 hours and 37 minutes faster than  using the internet.

The Result

Pidgeons transfer data faster than the $43 Billion National Broadband Network. In fact at 6.03 Megabytes a second compared to 4.1 Megabytes a second