Australian Uses Phone to Download Nearly a Terabyte of Free Data in One Day - Atlas Obscura
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Australian Uses Phone to Download Nearly a Terabyte of Free Data in One Day

Including 24 seasons of the Simpsons, 14 seasons of Mythbusters, and the entire Wikipedia database.

Customers of Telstra, Australian’s largest telecommunications company and a provider of mobile service for millions, have had a rough couple months, after three major outages in that span.

To compensate, the company offered users a deal: free data all day on Sunday, allowing customers to download to their heart’s content.

John Szaszvari, a 27-year-old from Sydney, took the deal seriously. Maybe a little too seriously. By the time he was done, Szaszvari had downloaded 994 gigabytes of data, or, as one company official put it, about how much the average mobile user might download in 40 years. 

The goal, he told the Sydney Morning Herald, wasn’t revenge so much as just wanting to get the most bang for his buck. Using his LG G4 phone as a WiFi hotspot, Szaszvari then logged on to his computer and started working, one download after another, until he compiled an impressive list. 

From the Sydney Morning Herald

And then the downloads began: 14 seasons of MythBusters; 24 seasons of The Simpsons; the entire Wikipedia database; Microsoft software for his job; updates for his Xbox games; and “a lot of random other stuff.”

He also synced all his Spotify playlists offline. About another 100GB was used to upload backups of personal files, including photos and videos, to the cloud.

Some lucky positioning helped Szaszvari on his quest: He was able to get download speeds of up to 150 megabytes per second because he lived near a 4GX tower, capable of giving him faster data service than the more common 4G standard. 

Telstra officials seemed impressed with Szaszvari’s feat, adding that around 2,686 terabytes of data had been downloaded by all users Sunday, a number which well surpassed a previous free data day earlier this year. 

“I’m thinking two Simpsons episodes per evening for the next foreseeable while to remind me of when I was a child,” Szaszvari told the Sydney Morning Herald. For the millions of Americans still hungering for fast connections (looking at you, Fios in New York City), he’s the hero we deserve, if not the one we need right now.