Catch That Pigeon

In an attempt to show that rural broadband speeds in the UK aren’t really up to much, a race has been held between a flock of carrier pigeons armed with USB sticks and a five-minute video upload. The file had to cover 120 miles, with the prize going to whichever medium first delivered the information in its entirity.

It’s probably not much of a surprise that the pigeons won.

Okay, so it’s a bit of a stunt, but it proves that the much talked about Digital Divide still exists, and that’s just within the UK. Globally things are obviously much worse, to the extent that Tim Berners-Lee has called for everyone to get basic internet connections for free – in a world where the wheels of power are increasingly online, and where the internet is a relatively free forum for information sharing and citizen activism, the fact that only a fifith of the world’s population has access is a concern. Sure, you could argue that it’s less important than essentials such as food, water, sanitation and housing, but it’s not necessarily an either/or thing – the internet is a pretty good way of getting information about health and education to the population.

I guess that kinda relies on access to some sort of computer, but that’s something that some smart people will be able to tackle, surely?

(Incidentally, 32 carrier pigeons were awarded the Dickin Medal for service during the Second World War…)

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