Proving just why we can’t have nice things, an Australian company’s attempt at magnanimity has backfired in a most unfortunate manner. On Sunday, Australian telecommunications firm Telstra did a good thing — offered its customers a day of free data as part of its reparations for nationwide mobile and Internet outages last Tuesday. But as it turns out, hell hath no data usage capacity like a customer scorned and then given free reign, because Australians managed to download a shocking 1.841 terabytes of data, which is (needless to say), a ton of data.
“By midnight, our customers had downloaded … the equivalent of around 2.3 million movies, or 5.1 million episodes of Game of Thrones, or 23 million downloads of Kanye’s new The Life of Pablo album, or 1.4 billion downloads of last year’s Miles Franklin winner, Eye of the Sheep — depending on the source and the quality of the file, of course.” Telstra Group Managing Director Mike Wright said in a statement. He continued, “We hope it helps make up for some of the inconvenience we caused.”
Of course, given the huge spike in traffic during the day, some customers experienced slower than usual speeds on 4G (typical), but all in all, the network stood up well to this massive demand. Of course, Telstra may be feeling the burn of giving away so much for free, but hey, that’s great customer service, right?
Included in the free offer was all mobile data used by personal, business, and pre-paid customers (even if they were credit-less by this point), mobile broadband customers, and even customers who used Telstra’s retail partner Boost. “Over the course of the day we had twice as much traffic as we would normally see on a Sunday (or any day),” Wright noted, and indeed, Sunday was “[Telstra’s] Australian network[‘s] … busiest day ever.”
So the next time you experience an outage with your own mobile service provider, use Telstra as an example, and demand a day of free data.