Feeds

BT feathers ruffled over pigeon-based file transfer caper

SURFIN' BIRD!

Boost IT visibility and business value

BT is peeved at an experiment appearing to demonstrate that a carrier pigeon is faster and more efficient than its broadband service. The experiment, supervised by BBC Lincolnshire and carried out by weary internet user Michelle Brumfield, proved embarrassing to the telcom in much the same way as last year's South African soaraway shenanigans.

Ms Brumfield set about transmitting a short five-minute video from her farm, near Bishop Burton in Yorkshire, to a reporter waiting in Skegness some 75 miles away. She had two options to choose from - she could upload the clip to YouTube, allowing the BBC reporter to download it at the other end, or could strap a memory card containing the clip to the leg of Rory the racing pigeon.

She released Rory at around the same time as she began the upload. Ninety minutes later the memory card arrived in Skegness: an hour after that, the reporter was still waiting for the clip to upload. Ms Brumfield’s first attempt to upload the clip crashed after ten minutes.

According to Rory’s handler, the hi-tech route was likely to take three and a half to four hours. He added: "Connectivity [in rural Yorkshire] is no different from in the African bush."

Ms Brumfield told the BBC that they have broadband, but it is accessed by means of a small wireless receiver on chimney stack. She said: "The internet is now widely used as a business management tool. There are many things that business users in Beverley and York can do that we can’t In the last five years internet usage has expanded.

"We find it all very frustrating."

Behind the slightly wacky experiment lies a growing frustration by would-be internet users in rural areas who complain that as far as connectivity is concerned, some areas are now effectively "notspots".

This was borne out by a recent Ofcom report suggesting a digital divide already exists between town and country, with the former averaging twice the access speeds of the latter now – and that gap set to grow as fibre networks begin to spread through towns.

Responding to criticism of BT, a spokesman told the Reg: "The claim that a third of homes can't get broadband is very wide of the mark. Hopefully the pigeon will be more accurate." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.