Rob England (ITSkeptic) said in one of his tweets:

“Back in 80’s , the highest bandwidth channel for data transfer over a range of <5 miles  was a boy on a bike with a basket full of tapes.”

A few minutes later, he also pointed to an article – which is “interesting” to say the least!:

A company in South Africa has done a drill to prove they could use pigeons to tranfer data faster than their telecom provider, Telkom!  Read the story here.

Well, not as a universal truth, but under some context – “* conditions apply!” 😉

The article says internet bandwidth is a growing problem in South Africa.

In the drill/experiment/demonstration/drill or what ever you want to call it, an IT company used an 11 month old pigeon to transfer data disc tied to its legs. The pigeon transferred the data across 80 Km (around 50 miles) in 1 hour and eight minutes; including the data download, the tranfer took a little over two hours – which, reportedly was the time taken to transfer around 4% of data over the telkom’s link!

Okay- enough of fun there . The points to ponder from the story, are these:

  1. Are we getting too much used to technology – without even looking at the value we are deriving out of the investment on them (For a change, I am looking from a business angle!). No, I am not suggesting the use of pigeons. (But boy on the motorcycle is not such a bad idea!).   The point is – we are in a world where colleagues or team members sit in neighbouring cubicles – and use email or IM service to transfer data files. Of course they shout and inform: ” here, I am sending it to you!”, without realizing the data is traversing (more often than not)over a long way on internet, using precious bandwidth etc etc…
  2. Are the over dependency and over-use (misuse?) – blame it on ridiculous fall of prices – really making the service utility very low  (yeah I know, I need to link to some ITIL terminology some how!). It could be driven from scarcity, pressure on service provider or whatever. As the experiment showed, may be not fit for the purpose itself, even not considering the levels of Warranty? So where is the value?

I felt the incident (as reported) throws up many questions for us to ponder, than just enjoying the fun and merely pointing fingers at the service provider! No, I am not saying the Service provider is right or had done their part. Those are obvious aspects of the story. What are the other perspectives we can have on the same?

Any thoughts?