06 April 2016
by Hannah Francis

Telstra data guy accused of slowing download speeds by 'jealous' users

John Szaszvari makes the most of Telstra's free data days.

The Telstra free data guy is a hero to many and a villain to some plagued by slow internet connections after he capitalised on the telco's free-data day to download almost a whole terabyte of goodies.

It was the ultimate digital stick-it-to-the-man, as the 27-year-old Sydneysider downloaded 14 seasons of Mythbusters, 24 seasons of The Simpsons, the entire Wikipedia database, a suite of software morsels, Xbox games and Spotify playlists.

Mr Szasvari's mammoth trawl even caught the attention of Telstra chief operating officer Kate McKenzie, who mentioned his heroic 994GB effort during a speech at the CommsDay conference in Sydney.

But when he posted a screenshot of his data usage on Reddit, some users channelled all their buffering rage at the data grifter.

"I'm getting a stupid amount of messages on Facebook, including abuse saying, 'You ruined it for everyone, you abused the service,'" he told News Ltd.

"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.

"I'm a very introverted person and don't deal with all this attention, it's interesting to see how this has exploded."

Some commenters accused Mr Szasvari of exacerbating slow download speeds.

"People like you are why we can't have nice things," said one Reddit user.

But Mr Szasvari said his excessive downloads would not have affected other users.

"Telstra owned the majority of the bandwidth available. There's absolutely no way if I had 10 phones, doing the same thing it would make an impact on their network.

"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," he said.

Other users leapt to his defense.

"As if it's a user's problem to worry about Telstra's bandwidth - that makes about as much sense as not filling up your car when petrol is cheap to save some for others," wrote one commenter.

"Well done and I sincerely hope you break your own record the next time free data day happens again," posted another.

Mr Szasvari said he would not have embarked on his downloading binge if his own service wasn't unworkably slow.

"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."