Feeds

back to article BT feathers ruffled over pigeon-based file transfer caper

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 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Stop

re: SURFIN' BIRD

BRIAN! DON'T!

10
0
KCM
IT Angle

Bird => Word

BT: Check it again!

1
0
Happy

* while doing the monkey *

I said...."A BIRD! BIRD! BIRD! BIRD IS THE WORD! I SAID BIRD! BIRD! BIRD! BIRD IS THE WORD!"

1
0
MrT
Bronze badge

"Office Space"

Loved the homage in that episode to "Office Space" (scene where Brian and Stewie smash the record) - sometimes there's a lot of empathy there where BT's concerned...

2
0
Anonymous Coward

has the added benefit of....

...not being "packet shaped". Though lost packets from falcons must be bothersome

1
0
Silver badge
Coat

I'd imagine you might also get a few dropped packets...

...if you don't tie it on properly.

Not to mention the odd 'man in the middle' attack from farmers with shotguns.

0
0
Coat

RE: I'd imagine you might also get a few dropped packets...

"Not to mention the odd 'man in the middle' attack from farmers with shotguns."

Technically that would be a denial of service attack.

7
0
Flame

There is an RFC for that

RFC1149 and if we take traffic shaping into account RFC2549.

3
0
FAIL

Towns vs Country?

I live in inner city Manchester yet still can only get a peak rate of 2.7 up, 850 down (with Demon's 8Mb Business account) whilst simultaneously BT are repeatedly 'offering' their "Infinity" 20Mb service to me (at a premium of course). I'd be happy just to get the 8Mb I'm paying for. Harumph.

2
2
Megaphone

Cheapskate

You're not paying for 8Mb you're paying for "the best connection I can get using standard ASDL".

Even worse, they've offered you the incredible experience of FTTC and you're moaning it's too expensive. If you won't pay for quality then don't moan when you get crap!

6
3
Thumb Down

You try getting...

...a static IP, no port 25 hijacking etc etc so that I can continue to run my own web and mail servers with BT Infinity. Also with Demon, no traffic shaping, a decent monthly allowance (200Gb)

I use Demon because of the freedom it allows me. Demon aren't limiting my speed, BT are. As for buying crap, my exchange is ADSL 2 enabled yet I can still only get an average of 2.2Mbs, I'm paying Demon who in turn pay BT Wholesale more than I'd have to pay with BT Infinity.

1
3
FAIL

Static IP, etc?

Not BT Infinity (who in their right mind would use BT as their ISP) but I do get a static IP, no port hijacking and wonderful 35Mbps/10Mbps speeds on my FTTC service from Plusnet.

Instead of whining on the internet you could be contacting Plusnet, aaisp (http://www.aaisp.net.uk/broadband-FC.html) or any of the other providers that can take FTTC connections and seeing what they have to offer?

0
0
FAIL

You try looking

The BT Business Infinity package has static IP, no port hijack, run your own servers, 300 GB FUP. Other ISPs can resell BT's FTTC service as well, (do Demon, if not ask them why not), so others may have what you want if you don't want BT as the ISP.

0
0
Silver badge

Isn't that just one of the benefits of urban living?

Let's face it there aren't that many (except possibly the emergency services arriving while there's still something to put out, or a pulse that can be revived). The thing that makes the countryside so desirable is the LACK of other people. Where your next-door neighbour isn't forced to earwig your phone conversations and you can't hear their digestive problems every time their toilet flushes. The difference between high density living and low density living means that services are always going to be cheaper to provide for those living cheek-by-jowl than they are for those where the only sound is a goat farting, half a mile away.

Depending on who made what choices, is it reasonable for townies to have to subsidise country folk for the high cost of providing them with fast internet connectivity? If they made a conscious decision to move to the country to "get away from it all". Those who live in rural areas are already used to the lack of things such as public transport, nearby banks and shops. They accept that prices will be higher and choice lower when all you have is a village shop - compared with an ASDA just down the road. Basically: yer makes yer bed .....

14
4
Anonymous Coward

Piss off you tosspot

Country dwellers pay the same or more, and get crapper services. Why is that right? We also subsidise city dwellers - army, police, NHS. Why shouldn't people in the country have the same services as others in the country?

Many people living in the country have no choice- they are unable to move because of house prices/rents. At least city dwellers can do it the other way round, and this in turn means city people with loads of cash buying up country houses, forcing the prices up, making it even more expensive for those in the country to survive.

So, in summary, up yours.

7
15
Grenade

Get a Grip you muppet... no not on *That*

You have a completely unrealistic view of rural living. The English village green it isn't! Actually I'm on a 9000 line exchange. My area has 2 refineries, a new build power station 2 LNG terminals all supporting the urban greed for fuel and power, and 2 ferry terminals. There is also a DWP call center full of fairly lowly paid workers dealing with benefit claims from many urban areas of England. Yes all of this and not a single LLU exchange in the county. The wonderful supermarkets you espouse stock limited ranges just enough to have effectively killed our high streets so for a decent shopping trip we have to travel 60 or so miles. All of the costs and disadvantages and none of the benefits

And yet the only bandwidth available in our 20cn county had its price artificially hiked by 23% a couple of years ago... remind me.. who is subsidising who? BT rip us off because they can and we have no alternative to 20cn BTw services, and no sign of 21cn as they keep withdrawing dates - probably to finance the FTTC roll out. I suggest you get your hand out of your boxers and instead get a firm grip on reality. I have to laugh when I see the hype about IP TV and film downloads - not with our low data caps - brought to you by a greedy BTw in conjunction with the tame regulator OFCOM.

2
2
Silver badge
Grenade

You what?

>Country dwellers pay the same or more, and get crapper services. Why is that right?

Because it's so damn' expensive to get the services to you. We can't afford to pay the extra to get you up to our standard.

> We also subsidise city dwellers - army, police, NHS.

No you don't. Get a dictionary and find out what 'subsidise' means. You can't subsidise us until your financial output exceeds ours. That will never happen. Every village in the country is effectively running 'at a loss' to the nation as a whole.

>Why shouldn't people in the country have the same services as others in the country?

As above - because it's so bloody expensive to get them to you. The whole frackin' point of humanity inventing urbanisation thousands of years ago is because it makes providing services and distributing goods so much easier. We do what we can to help you but unfortunately the cost difference means we have to compromise. We put up with paying a little extra on our taxes for you and in exchange we expect you to accept slightly worse services than us.

What are you going to post next - a rant about the lack of multi-screen cinema and the difficulty in getting a taxi in your village?

Welcome to the real world.

10
6
Anonymous Coward

@AndrewC

Quite aware what subsidise means thank you., and we have no problems with taxis. And if I want to see a film, I drive 25 miles to the nearest screen. No problem. My choice. I dont get to see many films however, since I have children. So I've sex at least three time as well.

My council tax in rural Cambs is the same (actually I think its more) than in Cambridge city. Yet I have crap roads, and fairly dismal services. A higher proportion of my council tax goes to support city living than goes to support country living. So, what's that about subsidise again? It's even arguable that the roads in the country need to be better maintained that those in city areas because that how the food get to the cities.

I tell you what, let's let the roads fall apart, the food processing factories fail though lack of comms, all the farm workers move to the city. I'll be OK, but those in the cities will starve.

We live in a country where everyone pays the same sort of taxes. Why shouldn't people get similar services, wherever they are, where those services could be regarded as essential to living, as internet access seems to have become.

(To be honest I get a decent 8MB ish connection in my very rural location, so I have no issues with net connection. Just townies who have no idea about how countries work, and seem to think that cities should have everything)

4
5
Anonymous Coward

Speaking as a confirmed city dweller...

AndrueC - with all due respect... You're a retard!

Societies and economies exist in balance and that includes people living in rural, industrial, urban areas etc. If everyone moves to the city the economy would be even more unstable and dependence on externally sourced products and services would significantly decrease national wealth and living standards.

And let's face it, folk of limited intelligence and insight like you would be among the first to starve!

4
4
Bronze badge

Speaking as a confirmed city dweller...

"Societies and economies exist in balance and that includes people living in rural, industrial, urban areas etc. If everyone moves to the city the economy would be even more unstable and dependence on externally sourced products and services would significantly decrease national wealth and living standards."

That's exactly his point.

So who was the stupid one again?

1
0

Ok.....

so you keep your superfast internet connection, we'll keep all the food, and they we'll see who's running at a loss.

0
0
Joke

Similarity

<<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.>>

Pigeons and spokesmen have a lot in common, namely that they're likely to spout loads of crap all over you.

8
0
Go

RFC1149

This, of course, is a variant implementation of the RFC1149 standard.

http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1149

0
0

RFC1149

I was hoping to get that in, d'oh!

0
0
Silver badge
Linux

As my old sys-hack used to say...

Never underestimate the transfer rate of a car with a boot-full of hard drives.

Nice to see a more rural and environmentally friendly variation on the theme.

Tux - well it's as close as you can get to a pigeon :)

2
0
Anonymous Coward

simply

A practical demonstration that broadband has both bandwidth and latency. And should not just be sold on the one.

I'm pretty sure even rural broadband has a better latency than a carrier pigeon, even if the pigeon does have a higher bandwidth.

They wouldn't be particularly happy if the 300meg file took 5 mins to upload either, if every single thing from a ping to a terabyte also took 5 mins to get anywhere!

0
0
Silver badge

"Stationwagon full of magtape"

Rather than re-write it:

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/561112

0
0
FAIL

Flawed argument

As most Broadband speeds are measured on download speed and not upload I would have like to have seen whether she'd have been able to watch the video on Youtube faster than the pigeon could deliver it to her.

3
0
FAIL

But

Upload speed is more relevant to business users as is the case here...

To be fair, when I was in the consultancy game, I remember trying to download a CD Image in the Welsh Valleys from our office file server (100MB Fibre at our office, ADSL at theirs) and the burned CD one of the engineers kindly citylinked to me arrived before it had downloaded (though admittedly the connection dropped 3 times)

0
0
Silver badge

Connectivity [in rural Yorkshire] is no different from in the African bush.

At least in the African bush you can set up your own (wireless) network without problems with legacy systems and companies like BT et all.

1
0

Bush?

"He added: "Connectivity [in rural Yorkshire] is no different from in the African bush.""

Howick to Hillcrest was Winston's flight.

Howick is somewhat rural, but its not the bush.

1
0
Unhappy

Kingston Comms

TO be honest, they are doing well: bearing in mind the pigeon flew straight over KCom's heartland where internet access (at least when I was working down there) is atrocious.

0
0
Coat

But...

...did the test conform to rfc2549?

1
0
Coat

Pigeons are faster!

If we assume the broadband line is working optimally and allowed an upload rate of 256 kilobits per second, then a quick bit of maths:

Upload speed * seconds in 90 minutes / 8 bits-per-byte =~ 177 megabytes.

So for any file larger than this it would always be faster to send by pigeon.

** Mine's the one with bird seed in the pockets.

0
0

Just to add

It's not rural that's strictly the issue. I go to Norway a lot with work, our office there is 3 hours by boat from the nearest city (or indeed town with more than 2000 people) and yet connectivity both at the office, and at any of the hotels in the village is always rock solid and usually weighs in at about 8.7 down/512 up (or 100 down/up at the office) - the hotels are usually ADSL as well so it only seems to be this country that struggles.

1
0
Gold badge
Joke

Gag update time.

"What's the average bandwidth of a pigeon?"

"What do you mean? A Rock or Wood pigeon?"

"What? I don't know that.......AAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

5
0
Silver badge

Could it perhaps work better as:

What is the average throughput of an non-traffic managed swallow? (What do you mean an African or European swallow?)

1
0
WTF?

Brightside...

Still look on the bright side BT won't be needing be packet shaping that connection...

1
0

A version of the old quote...

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway. -

Andrew S. Tannenbaum

3
0
Silver badge

During the meanwhile ...

With probably 99% of all useful 'net content being good old 7-bit ASCII text, who can read faster than 19.2K/sec? Even today, I still connect over dial-up from my property in rural Mendocino county about 20% of the time ... sometimes at speeds as low as 2400 bps (fog and aging, cracked, dusty cable plant makes for bad signal/noise ratio). The low speed doesn't seem to affect my "internet experience" much ... And that's barely 200 miles by road from Silly Con Valley!

Mine's the one with the Telebit Trailblazer in one pocket & Kermit code in the other ...

1
0
FAIL

Proportional cost

It'd be nice if they just accepted that the 30 year old cabling sucks and you only pay for the Kbps that you can actually achieve. £5 + % speed achieved (0-8Mbps = £0 to £10).

OFCOM sucks and is completely powerless. It has no interest in making ISPs deliver or enforce correct advertising.

4
0
Bronze badge

you could try sending a cheque with:

upto £15 written on the wording line and £3.50 in the number box.

see how they like that.

10
0
Silver badge
Joke

Quick sign me up!

Where do I sign up for "unlimited down-pigeons!?"

0
0
Joke

Trafalgar Square...

where you have all the pigeon-based downloads you can possibly stand...

4
0
Silver badge

I can't though

Ken Livingstone "had the lines un-installed!" These days, the "download" speed is pretty low! Not many "packets" landing there these days compared to when I was a nipper!

0
0
Bronze badge
Flame

You get what you (or us) pay for

There are plenty of places where there's no water or sewer mains, no mains electricity or gas supply, no phone lines and no broadband cable. You get such things when they are paid for or when considered a 'basic human need' and society as a whole foots the bill. And that applies to level and quality of service.

If a supplier isn't giving what they promised or what they could give in return for a fair price charged then that's one thing but "I haven't got" is entirely another. It's a simple fact that some places are better served with lower costs due to population density and existing infrastructure.

I don't appear to have a garden shed full of diamonds; I'll be contacting De Beers immediately as this is intolerable.

5
0
Heart

love it!!

PMSL, love it love it love it!! That's how u get your point across, a real piss take :D

0
0
Happy

Youtube's

head office is in San Bruno, CA. Dunno where their servers are. Need a long distance pigeon for that, or maybe upgrade to a long distance bird like an arctic tern

I like the idea of being charged for the speed you are actually getting (@squirrel) - campaign anyone?

0
0
Joke

Not a fair comparison

After all the broadband transfer was using TCP while the pigeon was only UDP.

3
0
Coat

Re: Not a fair comparison

If the recipient rang the sender to say "yeah, pigeon's here", that sounds like TCP to me....

6
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.