Sydney Man Smashes Telstra Free Data Day Record


How much data did you download on Telstra’s free data day? Not as much as Sydney resident John Szaszvari, who held on to his record-holding status by downloading almost a whole terabyte of data in a single day. Here’s how he did it.

The free data day was Telstra’s way of saying sorry for its network going down on 18 March, and is thesecond time in as many months Telstra has provided a free day of data as compensation for network outages, of which there has been three — all blamed on human error.

The first free data day saw Australians download a massive 1,841 Terabytes, making it the busiest day on Telstra’s network, ever. This time customers were prepared, and ended up downloading 2,686 Terabytes worth of data in a single day — the equivalent, says Telstra, to 3.4 million HD movies.

Szaszvari, who downloaded 425GB on the first data free day, can now consider himself a bona-fide free data prepper.

His secret is in part owed to his location, The Age reported. A nearby 4GX mobile tower means his speed is already up to three times faster than regular 4G. He was getting around 180Mbps on his laptop (which was connected via a Wi-Fi hotspot on his 4G phone) when he began his downloading spree.

He used the data (among other things) for:

  • Downloading 14 seasons of MythBusters
  • Downloading 24 seasons of The Simpsons
  • Downloading the entire Wikipedia database
  • Downloading Microsoft software
  • Updating Xbox games
  • Synching Spotify playlists for offline use
  • Backing up personal files, photos and videos to the cloud

Considering the amount being downloaded, the network held up okay. “We reached the peak network traffic level of the previous free data day by 8.00am and stayed above that level until midnight,” Telstra group managing director for networks Mike Wright said.

“We are glad to see the underlying strength of the network demonstrated despite a few hot spots where heavy users caused localised congestion,” he admitted.

Those hot-spots included Szaszvari’s location — Sydney — which was sitting at 6Mbps down and 1Mbps up, as opposed to the usual 240Mbps/40Mbps.