Thanks to the runaway success of the iPhone, AT&T has the largest wireless network in the country—and the lousiest. Fed-up subscribers, who pay the telco about $30 a month just for data (and another $40 or so for voice), are planning an assault this Friday called Operation Chokehold.
The idea is to cripple AT&T’s network in order to draw attention to its weakness. To do so, participating iPhone users will run data-heavy applications over AT&T’s 3G network on Friday from noon to 1 p.m. Pacific time.
The plan was apparently launched by the Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, a popular blog that satirically impersonates the Apple CEO, but Operation Chokehold has since gained steam with notices popping up on other tech blogs.
It shouldn’t take much to buckle AT&T’s network—it has trouble functioning under normal conditions. Whether the company will do anything in response is another matter. Verizon has blanketed the country in ads mocking its chief rival’s network—ads that wouldn’t be so effective if they didn’t ring true. AT&T tried to sue, but gave up in the end.
The company promised to improve its network in New York and San Francisco—two known problem areas—but don’t hold out hope. AT&T appears as if it is looking for ways to discourage users from using its product—the network—or at least charging them more, according to wireless chief Ralph de la Vega. —PZS