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Tag: Telkom

Today, on news24, I saw the reply from Telkom about the pigeon race to copy 4GB of data from Howick to Hillcrest (read my post about it here).

Telkom are claiming that they cannot be blamed for the slow internet connection, as they say that The Unlimited have not followed their recommendations and that if they had a problem they should have contacted the Telkom call centre to sort them out.

Now, anyone in South Africa who has had to deal with the Telkom call centre will know that that is an exercise in futility. Telkom are so well known for non-delivery of services. Just think of sites such as, or the amount of complaints on

Telkom have a stranglehold on communications in South Africa, and as with all monopolies, they don’t really have much reason to improve service if there is nowhere else to go. New infrastructure like the new Seacom cable might change things like that in the future, but for now, there is not much we can do.


Winston the Pigeon is the champion in a most unusual race.

A company in KwaZulu-Natal, The Unlimited, decided that they were a little sick and tired of the unreliable internet connectivity they were getting from Telkom. They have to regularly send 4GB of data from their Howick office, near Pietermaritzburg to their head office in Hillcrest, Durban – a distance of 80km.

Someone had a bright idea that it would probably be faster to send the data between the office using a carrier pigeon than using their broadband connection, and thus was born Pigeon Race 2009.

Today, at 10:00 or so the race began, and Winston, the carrier pigeon did not disappoint. the download is still underway at the time of writing, while Winston has landed already, and the data has already been copied off the memory disk they attached to its leg. A recent test by the company showed it took over 2 days to transfer the 4GB over broadband. Winstons trip took 2 hours 6 minutes.

There is some talk that the company might employ more carrier pigeons after the success of this little experiment.

Many people who were trying to watch the live internet feeds struggled due to inadequate internet bandwidth. I love the irony.

This just goes to prove that Telkom IS as bad as they are made out to be….I just hope this contest spurs on our local communications companies to pull up their socks and offer us a real service.