Spat between Lyons, AT&T poses iPhone outage threat | iLounge News


Spat between Lyons, AT&T poses iPhone outage threat

An ongoing spat between journalist Dan Lyons—posting as his satirical alter-ego “Fake Steve Jobs”—and AT&T has the potential to cause iPhone service outages Friday afternoon. Following a profanity-filled rant (NSFW) in which Lyons compared AT&T to a record company wanting customers to purchase less copies of an album due to high demand, Lyons subsequently proposed “Operation Chokehold,” suggesting that iPhone users flood AT&T’s cellular network with traffic by turning off Wi-Fi and using their 3G connections for data-intensive activities, such as streaming video, for approximately one hour at Noon Pacific Time (3:00PM Eastern Time) on Friday.

Following the “Chokehold” post, AT&T called the scheme “irresponsible and pointless,” adding that “there is nothing amusing about advocating that customers attempt to deliberately degrade service on a network that provides critical communications services for more than 80 million customers.” Lyons’ responded, noting that the company has made over $10 billion in profit over the last nine months, and has seen wireless data revenues soar 80% over the last eight quarters, while dropping its capital expenditures by 30% over the same period. A Facebook group dedicated to “Operation Chokehold” now has over 1,750 fans, and despite a later statement from Lyons claiming that he doesn’t want to “cause any actual harm to my fellow AT&T users,” questions remain as to whether the protest will have any impact on the network on Friday.

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How will I know whether or not the bit barrage is working?  My service stinks today!

Posted by Charles Farley on December 16, 2009 at 9:36 PM (CST)


While I too am annoyed at AT&Ts; data “rationing” ideas, purposely degrading the network will affect millions, including those who have no desire to be part of this “protest”.

Posted by Dale on December 17, 2009 at 9:04 AM (CST)


I fully understand the thought here. But I agree with Dale. Why punish those that need network access. I would love nothing more than for AT&T to see the light and improve their 3G offering/service. I was using my iPhone in a crowded D.C. area mall this weekend and although I had 5 bars of service, I could not hold a call. I would drop after about 30 seconds on every attempt. That is ridiculous. We pay more than enough for the “privilege” of 3G/data connection. AT&T should dump some of that iPhone revenue into improving the network.

Posted by Mitch on December 17, 2009 at 9:29 AM (CST)


The point is, if AT&T can’t handle all the heavy hitter phones on the network, they either let go of them, or use some of the profit they earned to upgrade their network.

Posted by Anoy on December 17, 2009 at 2:50 PM (CST)


The outrage from AT&T is the sad part, not the protest. AT&T has sold people a service they simply cannot deliver, and that ought to be punished by a lot more than a protest usage of the network. It’s as if you paid to eat an an all you can eat buffet but the whole time you’re filling your plate you’ve got the owner saying, “Please, not the shrimp, only take one of those… Please, don’t take any more of the spare ribs, one is enough… Please, don’t take any more of the fruit salad, one spoonful is enough…”

You sell unlimited data, you better be able to deliver unlimited data.

Posted by Code Monkey on December 17, 2009 at 6:27 PM (CST)


It must be working. Where I typically get 5 bars of 3G coverage, I now keep dropping to EDGE for no reason.

Knock it off, all of you!

Posted by Herr Doktor on December 18, 2009 at 12:30 PM (CST)


Apple released the iPhone 3GS in the summer. They sold 1 million of them. These sales generated $30 million a MONTH since for AT&T. You would think that with an extra $30 million/month they could improve things.

Posted by Tigger on December 18, 2009 at 7:40 PM (CST)


The worst part is, after all of the complaints and excuses, AT&T continues to require owners of smart phones with wi-fi capability to have a data plan. Why?!?
If your restaurant exceeds capacity every night, you don’t solve the problem by expanding the parking lot, you expand the restaurant. Stop subsidizing smart phones and stop forcing people who only want your voice service to purchase a data plan that doesn’t work!

Posted by Paul on December 19, 2009 at 8:31 PM (CST)

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