If you're reading this, you have internet access.\nYou probably have it either through a local cable or fibre ISP or through your cell phone provider. We all have one (usually both) of these.\nSpeedy. Reliable (mostly). Boring.\nWhat happens when that infrastructure goes down? Maybe the power goes out somewhere along the network. Maybe a cell tower gets attacked by Godzilla. Who knows? Dangers lurk around every corner.\u00a0\n+ Also on Network World:\u00a0When disasters strike, edge computing must kick in\u00a0+\nIn those cases, when your traditional network connection fails you, you're going to need a backup. Something to get you back up, online and moving data around. And, what the heck, we might as well do it all with as much flair and pizzazz as possible.\nThere are two options that jump out at me as ideally suited for just such a Godzilla-based-network-outage scenario.\u00a0\nNetworking via ham radio\u00a0\nThe first is AMPRNet. The AMateur Packet Radio Network.\u00a0\nAt first, sure, it sounds like a crazy idea. But did you know that the TCP\/IP protocol was in use via amateur radio (ham) before the internet was accessible to the public? It's true!\u00a0\nIn fact, back in the 1970s, the entire "44" class A block of IP addresses (example: "220.127.116.11") was assigned specifically for use via amateur radio. Because of that, this is sometimes called "Network 44."\u00a0\nBelieve it or not, many people use it to this very day. HamWAN, in western Washington state, has set up what it calls the "Puget Sound Data Ring." Essentially a bunch of sites, all around that region, are connected up to AMPRNet.\u00a0\nSuper cool.\nNetworking via birds\nBut what if the power is out at the AMPRNet site you'd like to connect to? What if Godzilla takes that out, too?\nIn those sorts of scenarios, it makes sense to go a little more old-school.\n"More old-school than ham radios being used to hop online in the 1970s?!"\nWay more. We're going back to ye olden times here.\nI'm talking internet via... carrier pigeon.\n"IP over Avian Carriers (IPoAC)" \u2013 also known as RFC 1149 \u2013 was first created back April of 1990 (specifically *ahem* April 1, 1990). It describes, essentially, using a bird to carry a piece of data.\nJust like in Game of Thrones. Only different.\nThis isn't just some one-off April Fool\u2019s joke. No, sir! IPoAC has actually been updated. Twice! Once to add "Quality of Service" levels to the specification (a la "Coach," "First Class," "Business Class") and once to add support for IPv6.\u00a0\nNow, if you're thinking that transmitting IP data via homing pigeon would be slow, you'd be half right.\nIn 2001, a user group attempted to implement the first-ever, real-world, implementation of such an avian-based protocol. And a successful implementation it was!\nThe result of the very first "ping" via bird reads as follows:\n\n"64 bytes from 10.0.3.1: icmp_seq=0 ttl=255 time=6165731.1 ms"\n\nThey "lost a few packets" in their testing \u2013 hey, birds don't always do exactly what you want \u2013 with the ping times ranging from 3,211 seconds to 6,389 seconds. Yeah. Over 100 minutes. For a ping. Not exactly speedy.\nBut, consider this: You can send very (very) large amounts of data on a single bird. With how small SD cards and USB flash drives have become, it wouldn't be unreasonable to send a single bird with several terabytes of storage. Suddenly making IP over Avian Carriers one of the fastest methods of transmitting data via IP on the planet.\nAssuming the bird actually goes where you want it to go.