Telstra’s ‘Free Data Day” sets new record for mobile downloads

What can one group of customers do with 24 hours of free data?

At the Telstra store opposite Sydney's Apple store

At the Telstra store opposite Sydney's Apple store

Telstra responded to a recent string of outages on April 3 with 24 hours of free data for all mobile customers.

The result was the largest volume of traffic ever recorded on the network, with a staggering 2686 TB of data downloaded, equivalent to 3.4 million HD movies and three times normal weekday traffic.

This is the second of Telstra’s free data days in as many months. The first, in February, saw Telstra’s network hit peak traffic by 8am and handled twice the traffic of a normal weekday.

By the end of that day, customers had downloaded 1841 TB - or 2.3 million HD movies - worth of data with one customer downloading more than 400 GB.

April 3 saw a new record set as peak traffic was reached again by 8 am and the previous download record being surpassed by 4pm.

The same top user from February claimed they had downloaded 994 GB on April 3. Telstra said that is equivalent to 40 years of individual normal data usage.

Telstra chief operating officer, Kate Mckenzie, explained that traffic balancing was used across the network during the day to ensure bandwidth was evenly distributed. However, many customers still took to social media to report slow speeds on the day.


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