Telstra’s 2nd Free Data Day Breaks Records

For Australian users on Telstra who have a pre-paid, post-paid or mobile broadband plan were giving the ability to download unlimited free data midnight to midnight on Sunday the 3rd of April (yesterday).

This was in response for another recent phone reception drop-out in many areas of Australia.

How to Understand Data:

For those readers that do not quite understand how data file sizes work, here is a comparison chart:

  • 1MB (megabytes) = Loading a webpage.
  • 1GB (gigabytes) = 1000MB
  • 1TB (terabytes) = 1000GB
  • 1PB (petabytes) = 1000TB


  • On the first free data day, Telstra users used in total 1.841PB of data.
  • The data usage combined on the first free data day, was roughly double what it would be on a normal Sunday.
  • One guy on the first data day did 421GB of downloads which involved all seasons of the Discovery Channel’s “How It’s Made”, “Game of Thrones” and “Stargate Atlantis” all in HD.
  • This 2nd day of free data, Telstra customers downloaded A MIND BOGGLING 2.686PB OF DATA!
  • 2.686PB is the equivalent of 3.4 million HD movies according to Telstra.
  • Compared to the first free data day, there was a 46% increase in download on the second free data day.
  • The same guy who did 421GB of download on the first day did 994GB of download on the second free data day which includes all 14 seasons of “Mythbusters”, all “The Simpsons” episodes and the entire of Wikipedia (only 15GB for the later).
  • Telstra said the previous record set on the first free data day was reached at 4:00pm (AEST) or 34% faster than last time.
  • Multiple users were unable to download anything on the network in the afternoon with lots of anger on social media.
  • Customers with an AFL or NRL Live Pass could not even stream any live match on their phones.

What can we learn from this?

People know how to take up on an offer.

I did the same as I recently switched to Telstra just before Christmas 2015 and also experienced outage on the day that this 2nd free data day was in compensation for.

The vast majority of my download usage included:

  • App Updates on all iOS devices in the family.
  • Xcode 7.2 update on my MacBook.
  • Updating my MacBook Pro to OS X 10.11.4.
  • General internet usage for the day.

In total, I achieved almost 37GB’s of downloads for the day of which I am grateful for and is a lot for compensation for my outage, but I also have many issues with how Telstra handled the compensation.

Alternatives to Free Data Day as Compensation:

When you have a free data day that does not count towards your monthly usage with no end-limit, there are going to be people that abuse the system.

I will admit that I did download more than what the average user would of, but I am still mad how one user could download 300GB’s worth of games and another download 1TB of video content with outrageous speeds.

Included below is a screen shot of some of the download speeds I achieved in Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs, but there are some facts I want to highlight.

My internet speeds on my iPhone 5s in Melbourne Eastern Suburbs.

“Mega-bits per second” is a term used to describe how much data you can download every second. The higher the number the faster your internet is.

On an average day I get 4G LTE speeds of 20-30Mbps, when I started downloading at midnight I was getting 16Mbps, in the morning I got 10Mbps and all afternoon until about 9:00pm I was getting around 1-3Mbps download speeds.

The reason I am highlighting this is because as the numbers increased or decreased, it shows how many people were on the network at the same time in my area.

Many people were reporting 2Mbps or less for their internet speed for the day.

What I feel annoyed about, is the people that wanted to take advantage of the free data day who could not due to ridiculously slow speeds are not getting their fare share of compensation.

So what are the alternatives?

  • $0 cost for monthly usage.
  • Give everyone some data (like an amount between 5GB and 100GB’s) to use within the next month.
  • Have the free data day but with a limit for each user. E.g. 100GB’s.
  • Allow people to get out of their contracts without having to pay all or majority of remaining contract costs.

Telstra is not likely wanting to give back money to be rich which is why there have not taken that approach (or at least to date).

But this leads me to the question for this post:

“Do you think the free data day was a fair compensation for the related phone network outage?”

For me I feel I got my money’s worth considering you would generally have to pay $10 per 1GB of data in Australia (which is a rip-off for any carrier in my opinion), but I do not like how some people can download 300GB’s or 1TB’s worth of data who received a similar issue to what everyone else did (or majority of Telstra users got with the related phone outage).

If I were to suggest an alternative, it would be to give every user say somewhere between 5-100GB’s of data to use within a month, so not everyone would be using the system at the same time and give every user a fair go.

Please leave your opinion on this in the comments section below, I’m curious to hear what you have to say.

If you enjoyed this or learnt something new, be sure to like this post and follow me for more posts like this in the future.



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  1. Pingback: What is FTTdp for Australia’s NBN? – Neil's Blog

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