THE man dubbed the “Telstra data guy” says he downloaded $10,000 worth of free data during Telstra’s Free Data Sunday and won’t apologise to critics despite copping it from the rest of the country for abusing the system.
Meanwhile, the 27-year-old network engineer blamed Telstra for driving him to desperate measures due to their consistently poor lack of service.
John Szaszvari took full advantage after Telstra offered its customers 24-hours of free data on Sunday, thanks to a massive outage that wreaked havoc on eight million consumers on March 18. It was the second major outage for Telstra customers in the space of two months.
Mr Szaszvari downloaded a whopping 994 gigabytes of data that day, including free software, large backups, TV shows and movies, despite claiming his ADSL connection suffers at least 15 drop outs per day.
Instead, he used the latest 4GX technology (which is more than double the traditional speeds) on his phone to tap into his laptop and use the faster download speeds.
“It’s great — I have absolutely terrible internet connection, it’s pretty much unusable so when a day like this comes along it’s rare as hens’ teeth,” Mr Szaszvari told news.com.au.
“It’s the location where I live, believe it or not it’s Telstra’s problem. The connection in my street is so degraded it’s almost impossible to get a function out of it.
“Problem is the telephone lines in my area are old and don’t work properly. Imagine having a connection so bad and live with that for two years, then you have a day like this come along that’s 150 times faster than what you get at home with no limit applied to it.”
He even scored a special mention from Telstra chief operating officer Kate McKenzie during a speech detailing the “tsunami of data” at the CommsDay conference in Sydney. That amount was more than double what the 425 gigabytes he downloaded during Telstra’s first free data day in February.
In comparison, one full high definition season of Game of Thrones would equal about 20 gigabytes, while a high definition movie generally takes about 4 gigabytes of data to download.
“How much I downloaded on the Sunday would roughly cost $10,000 on a Telstra mobile on a normal day,” Mr Szaszvari said.
But ever since he detailed his meteoric rise to the top, where he bragged on Redditover the amount of downloads he scored, the public have been calling out Mr Szaszvari for causing slower download speeds for everyone else and becoming too greedy on the hunt for free content.
“I’m getting a stupid amount of messages on Facebook, including abuse saying, ‘You ruined it for everyone, you abused the service,’” he said.
“I think maybe they’re jealous because they didn’t download that much.
“Someone was arguing with me about me doing this to impress people … they were just name calling me constantly. It’s not my fault that a single screenshot of my data usage has caused so much discussion.
“It’s pretty frightening, the mention from Telstra’s COO is pretty funny, but honestly I didn’t realise how much someone downloaded would blow up like this.
“I’m a very introverted person and don’t deal with all this attention, it’s interesting to see how this has exploded.”
Mr Szaszvari claims he only downloaded 40 per cent of invite-only, pirated content from “private sites that aren’t known to the public”, including 14 seasons ofMythbusters and 24 seasons of The Simpsons. The majority, he claims, were legitimate downloads including Microsoft software updates, Xbox updates and syncing his Spotify library.
At least 100 gigabytes were used on backing up personal files, including photos and videos.
“Everyone seems to be making a huge deal over downloading some free TV and movies but that was only 40 per cent of the content,” he said.
“At the end of the day the bottom line is I wouldn’t download this if I had a decent connection at home and could stream Netflix properly.
“I have to load the movie, pause for half an hour then buffer, I don’t know if I’d call that streaming.”
He claimed if he downloaded just one movie on an average day, it would account to nine per cent of his monthly bill.
Yet other users complained to the Telco giant of slow speeds, and when they found out of Mr Szaszvari’s gains, blamed him for adding to the traffic trouble.
“It shouldn’t affect another user, from a technical point of view. Telstra owns the majority of the bandwidth available. Even if I had 10 phones going at once, There’s absolutely no way it would actually make a noticeable impact on their network overall.
“It’s not my responsibility, it’s Telstra’s to manage that bandwidth. It’s up to them, it’s not up to the user, as rude as it sounds but that’s not my concern.
“Internet is considered a basic human right and how much you download is not the business of anyone else.”