Telstra’s millions of customers certainly took advantage of the free data day with users accessing the network so much that speeds had be throttled back in some areas to cope with demand.
The heaviest traffic occurred in the afternoon when AFL and NRL matches kicked off – which are free to access for Telstra customers and are unmetered against their data allowance.
But there were so many people accessing the streams, the games were unwatchable because of the network congestion and because the speed had been throttled back.
There were a number of people complaining about the slow speeds on Twitter.
But despite all of this, Telstra has hailed the day as a success and said the network performed strongly.
Customers downloaded 2,686 terabytes of data – 46 per cent more than the February 14 free data day and the equivalent to 3.4 million high definition movies.
— Ryan Christensen (@ryanjchr) April 3, 2016
Reasonable haul from #freedataday, 3 tunes, 3 Grand Finals and a cheesy flick. 4 Gig saved from my bill!
— Mick Jeffrey (@MHJeffrey027) April 3, 2016
The previous record of 1,841 terabytes of the February 14 free data was surpassed at 4pm on the April 3 free data day.
“Over a 24-hour period, or 25 hours for those living in states where daylight savings ended, customers downloaded the most amount of data ever on our mobile network,” Telstra said in a statement.
“Customers took the opportunity to stream and download movies, binge watch TV shows, run computer updates and install software, and compete in gaming marathons around the world, for free.
“We are also glad to see the underlying strength of the network demonstrated despite a few hot spots where heavy users caused localised congestion.
“Overall, the majority of customers continued to experience a reliable level of service and we look forward to continuing to provide this well into the future.”