Friday, September 18, 2009

Winston the pigeon vs. Telkom... what's your take?

So by now you have probably all heard about the much publicized Pigeon Race 2009, where Winston the pigeon took on our beloved Telkom, and won by rather a large margin.
If not, go check it out at

The race started in Howick, where 4GB of data was sent over an ADSL line to an office in Gillits (Hillcrest).
Shortly afterwards a pigeon named Winston was dispatched from Howick, with an SD card strapped to his leg (containing the same 4GB of data).
The end result was that Winston's data arrived in Gillits in little over 2 hours.
Meanwhile back in Howick, the 4GB of data was only 4% sent.

So the result was conclusive and the message is clear!
Or is it?

Truth is, the whole race was rather contrived to begin with - work out the pigeon numbers and you get an ETA for Winston of approx. 1 hour (taking into account the average speed of a pigeon).
Then work out the Telkom numbers and you get an ETA of approx. 24.5 hours (using the "theoretical" max. Telkom ADSL speeds, and including upload and the download times).

Which proves what exactly...?


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