24 January 2012

IP over Avian Carriers

The Space Monkey and I were watching TV night when the subject of carrier pigeons came up. She thought she recalled that homing/carrier pigeons were extinct or nearly extinct. I didn't think so, so I looked it up. Then I came across this:
The humorous IP over Avian Carriers (RFC 1149) is an Internet protocol for the transmission of messages via homing pigeon. Originally intended as an April Fools' Day RFC entry, this protocol was implemented and used, once, to transmit a message in Bergen, Norway on April 28, 2001. 
In September 2009, a South African IT company, based in Durban, pitted an 11-month-old bird armed with a data packed 4GB memory stick against the ADSL service from the country's biggest internet service provider, Telkom. The pigeon named Winston took an hour and eight minutes to carry the data 80 km (50 mi). Including downloading, it took two hours, six minutes, and 57 seconds for the data to arrive, the same amount of time it took to transfer 4% of the data over the ADSL. —Wikipedia

Upon further digging, I also came across this:
During the last 20 years, the information density of storage media and thus the bandwidth of an Avian Carrier has increased 3 times faster than the bandwidth of the Internet.[3] IPoAC may achieve bandwidth peaks of orders of magnitude more than the Internet when used with multiple Avian Carriers in rural areas. —Wikipedia
So next time you're sitting someplace and can't get 3G on your phone, think about that.

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