Ready Your Routers: Telstra Is Giving Away More Free Data

Ready Your Routers: Telstra Is Giving Away More Free Data

On Friday, Telstra was hit with another massive network outage that affected hundreds of thousands of customers. It was the fourth service failure from the telco in as many months. As has become par for the course, Telstra will once again offer customers free data as an apology.

Last week’s network outage was one of the worst yet, with a leaked memo putting the number of affected customers at more than 350,000. At the time of writing, Telstra still hasn’t completely fixed the issue with some customers still experiencing “residual service difficulties” 48 hours later:

So what went wrong this time? According to Telstra, the cause of the outage is “extremely complex” and relates to a fault with the device that manages interactions between the network customers’ modems.

“We understand this has been frustrating for affected customers and we will be providing them with some additional data,” Telstra said in a statement.

In other words, more free data is coming — although it probably won’t involve a free mobile data day, like last time. Friday’s outage only caused disruptions on its NBN and ADSL networks, with mobile customers unaffected.

The telco has not provided details on how it will distribute free data. Presumably, broadband customers will have their data limits waived or extended during the next billing cycle. We’ll be updating the article when we hear more.

During its last two free data days, Telstra customers churned through a combined total of 4527 terabytes. Famously, a single customer managed to download nearly an entire terabyte of data in one day. (His haul included 14 seasons of MythBusters, 24 seasons of The Simpsons and the entire Wikipedia database.)

For those still affected by the current outage, Telstra advises you to keep your modem connected and powered-on and not reset it as this can cause further complications. You can find more connectivity tips here.


  • Why do companies like this keep bribing people with “free data”… you’re entitled to credit as part of an SLA with said company. More people need to be aware of that.

    Even if it’s a tiny amount, you’re still entitled to it.

  • Free data doesn’t really cut it anymore.

    Free data might suit the tweens, Uni students and low income earners etc on smaller plans but when I signed up I signed up to plans that had adequate data for my needs across my phone, home and business Internet. And I paid a premium for doing so but was happy to do it for the exact reason that I don’t want to worry about usage.

    So when there are these network outages it’s not the number of GB I’ve potentially missed out on that frustrates me. It’s the issues I get related to my EFTPOS and live data reporting, potential issues arising from not being able to make/receive calls etc

    A free data day does nothing to help that. There’s obviously some large underlying issues occurring that these outages are happening with increasing frequency. It’s time for the government to step in either through penalising with fines etc or helping where possible to fix the issues causing this.

    As a customer I’d rather receive automatics refunds for time lost instead of data because I feel that the financial cost would likely push Telstra to be more proactive as well as treating as customers equally instead of this current system that costs Telstra very little and actually only suits the lower paying customers who could use the extra data.

  • Free data is of no use when your internet speeds are so slow that it takes hours to download anything. It’s quite ridiculous that the speeds I get on my 4G Optus connection are 10 times what I get on my Telstra ADSL. I would much prefer a refund of the additional costs that I will incur from exceeding my 4G data allowance on the day I had no ADSL.

    • But 4G is a faster communications means.
      LTE advanced has a theoretical max of 100mbit where as adsl2+ is only 24mbit. So it’s no surprise your 4g is faster.

      • 4G will be faster than ADSL2+ as long as you are not too far away from the cell tower.

  • A couple of months ago I lost all mobile reception from the tower closest to my home for 3 days. I contacted Telstra and they agreed to a credit… I got a whopping $7 off my next month’s bill…

      • To be honest, nothing, but I was curious about how they would handle it.
        I wrote up my experience for those that are asking for credits for losing data short term instead of data days. I personally, would get more from a free data day than a credit of small change.

  • Free data means SFA when your ADSL2+ connection is so slow and congested, you prefer loading pages on your mobile’s tiny screen using 2 bars of 3G reception.

  • Telstra; Budget service for a premium price. And to top it off, they reward leachers and freeloaders while punish paying customers who pay for and need the bandwidth.

    I will be happy to see the back of this scummy company when their contract hooks are out of my life.

  • Have hardly had any internet at my place for the past 3 days. Telstra has turned into a joke of its former self. Constant drop outs on mobile and now the home network has all but crapped itself.

  • I love how the ad for this page is for Telstra.

    Free data is meaningless, give me 25% off my next bill, and if it continues much longer up that to 50%, last 2 days at about 6:45 the internet has shut off for a few minutes.

    If they do announce an unlimited data day, watch as all the mobile users who can’t be bothered to read beyond free data rack up a massive data bill.

  • Residential grade ADSL/NBN services are “best effort” and have no SLAs….

  • oh joy 🙁
    now to start off some bullshit pissing contest where people just flood the network so heavily because they can causing even more disruptions. the last 2 free data days, I couldn’t even connect to google because the network was so saturated.

    A free days data does not make up for it when I cant use it, how about a free month on my bill? the outages and disruptions iv had this year just about add up to a month and where not even half way through the year

  • These are happening regularly enough one has to start to wonder if their service really does have a problem, or if it’s a new form of marketing.

  • Seems like all these layoffs Telstra have done over the last few years has come to bite them on the arse. You can only sack a bunch of people so many times before you don’t have enough people who know what they are doing to service the network properly.

  • Yeah, I have been with Telstra (mobile) because they historically had reliable network service (even if the wait time for actual customer service was abominable). The only advantage they have now is that they have a marginally larger network coverage, but I spend virtually all my time in metropolitan areas and not much time in those marginal areas.

    Thus, the sole reason I have been with Telstra – i.e. network reliability – is basically gone.
    I’ll be switching as soon as my contract is up, which is unfortunately still a little while (on a 12-mo byo).

  • Guess we’ll be hearing about that guy pirating another few hundred television episodes soon.

  • Gha, free data just means I’ll get 3-8mb on my 200mb 4GX connection… I actually end up using it less on free data days and connecting to more wifi as it’s faster.

  • So many first world problems. No network is perfect and will have trouble from time to time. Providers of all shapes and sizes are having issues daily, the problem here is that Telstra currently has a spotlight on it and makes for an easy headline. It’s probably better if we just go back to the good old days of telegrams. Maybe send a message or two by crow?

    • Telstra asked for the spotlight by manipulating the market so as to have monopoly of it! They promote themselves falsely in numerous ways. If they can’t do what they say they can then they shouldn’t say it or they should face consequences as any other business would. Why else would they back down whenever you involve the ombudsman. I’m supposed to be a gold account yet I have lost who knows how many thousands due to them restricting my service coz I am waiting on invoices to be able to pay my bill or an overseas customer service centre giving wrong info or instructions. They charge premium rates so we have the right to premium services & support, their responsibilities to provide it!

  • Telstra has yet to fix most of the network issues that killed the system at 7.30 am EST, Friday 20th may 2016. Much of the network including ADSL access is still down.

    Adding extra load on a wireless network that is marginal and heavily oversubscribed by the large numbers of disconnected Telstra ADSL users, is complete insanity at the highest levels of management. Clearly Andy Penn, and his advisers are living in a dreamland, totally divorced from the real world.

    There can be only one word that can describe this irrational illogical behavior. It is called “Idiocracy”.

    Those who fail to learn the lessons of history since February 2016, are doomed to repeat the same mistakes on a daily basis until forced retirement.

  • How about you on-shore your network operations jobs again??
    Historically Telstra has been rock solid, even in a decade you could have counted the major outages you experienced with one hand and still had fingers left. Now it’s literally down every week despite tens of billions being pumped into network infrastructure. What happened?
    Nothing has changed with the infrastructure, it’s all still rock solid and best of class but they sent almost all of their network operations to India, to a company called Infosys that has 200,000 staff and manages a incredible amount of customers networks.
    So Telstra got rid of a good 170 people who’s only job was to know the Telstra network inside and out, and gave the same work to a company on another continent with 200,000 staff where the work is bounced around to whoever is available to work on it.
    The issue is “extremely complex” – bullshit, just like what happened last time and the time before that your outsourced network operations staff are making changes without taking care and it’s causing tens of millions of customers to lose connection and reconnect, this causes your authentication routers to overload so people have intermittent service.

  • The only reason I have stayed so long with Telstra is because I didn’t want to have to change my email address. (Stupid reason, I know… Especially considering I also have several hotmail addresses too…). I’ve now started changing all my subscriptions etc that use that email address and will be dumping Telstra as soon as my contract is finished. I feel sure I can get equally shoddy ADSL speeds but pay half the price somewhere else.

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