IP over Avian Carriers

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IP over Avian Carriers or RFC 1149 is a humorous Request for Comments document issued by the Internet Engineering Task Force. It describes how Internet Protocol traffic may be carried by homing pigeons. It was written by D. Waitzman and released on April Fool's Day 1990, one of the April 1st RFCs.

On April 28 2001, just over a decade later, RFC 1149 was actually implemented by the Bergen Linux User Group. They sent 9 packets over a distance of approximately 5km, each carried by an individual pigeon and containing one ping (ICMP Echo Request), and they received 4 responses. With a 55% packet loss, and a response time ranging from 3000 to over 6000 seconds, Carrier Pigeons seem unlikely to be adopted more widely as a transport method on the Internet.

Waitzman described an improvement of his protocol in RFC 2549, IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service, (April 1, 1999).

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