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?