Flutterby™! : Operation Chokehold

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Operation Chokehold

2009-12-17 02:28:08.76107+00 by Dan Lyke 9 comments

I don't know if you've been following this Fake Steve Jobs vs AT&T thing, but you could start at A not-so-brief chat with Randall Stephenson of AT&T, in which Fake Steve takes on AT&T for whining that customers are, *gasp*, using their service:

...when that happens, you do not go out and try to fuck it all up by discouraging people who love your product. What you do, instead, is you fix your fucking shitty ass network you fucking shit-eating-grin-wearing hillbilly ass clown!

This started a groundswell and turned into Operation Chokehold:

... On Friday, December 18, at noon Pacific time, we will attempt to overwhelm the AT&T data network and bring it to its knees. ...

AT&T responded:

We understand that fakesteve.net is primarily a satirical forum, but 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.

Nope. Sorry. Not buying it. Anyone expecting "critical communications services" isn't using AT&T.

The question is: If "Operation Chokehold" succeeds, how the f*ck would you tell? Would every other call suddenly not go through? Would simple text web pages load faster with 3G turned off? Would anything complex simply never load over the 3G network? Like I said: How would you tell? So, Friday at Noon I'll probably pop up my iPhone and watch the little spinny thing go round and round and round and round a bit.

(Full disclaimer: Actually, since I turned off 3G on the iPhone it's been working fairly well, and it's a decent little web browser when running on WiFi. And, frankly, fifteen years ago when Meuon and I and the other unindicted co-conspirators were trying to bring Internet to Chattanooga, I'm pretty sure that we'd have thought that what the iPhone does for me was too implausible to be SciFi.)

[ related topics: California Culture broadband Clowns Humor Net Culture iPhone Apple Computer Work, productivity and environment Chattanooga ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-18 04:51:26.682408+00 by: Dan Lyke

Apples and oranges. Expenditures are for everything, that first revenue chart is wireless revenue. If you go down a little further, their overall profit is still $3 billion/quarter.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-17 23:57:53.315529+00 by: TheSHAD0W

I'm looking at the Gizmodo link posted by Dan above; did anyone notice that the amount AT&T has been spending on their infrastructure has been MUCH HIGHER than the amount of revenue they've been receiving? That only recently the revenue has increased to the point where it's approaching the infrastructure upgrade costs?

Nope, can't really fault AT&T there.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-17 22:06:46.533078+00 by: Dan Lyke

Back in the late 80s or early 90s , when the Tennessee PUC was trying to Cram innovation in the form of ISDN down the throats of the telcos, I remember talking to someone at the phone company (not thebreverend Hasty) about trying to switch ISDN circuits fast enough to provide packet-like behavior and getting "why on earth would you want to do that?" at that point perhaps the BBS scene was still fringe, but if you have private lines spending thousands a month (remember the FidoNet backbone) I'd thing someone in the business would be looking at that trend.

But then I'm also constantly amazed at how profitable keeping users from using technology is, at least in the short term.

There are perhaps some macro-economic issues with going flat rate, but much of the appeal of the iPhone bs the blackberries was that I coul understand the price structure. Given my experience with ATT DSL, where I replaced the router they sold me with somethingelse and saw amazing performance improvements, there is probably more than a little penny-wise/pound-foolish in their network implementation.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-17 20:54:30.631331+00 by: spc476

Besides losing the monopoly, they're also attempting to run a circuit-switched intelligent network when it's clear that a packet-switched dumb network (where's the value-add in that?) is winning.

A friend who used to work in telephony (programming central switches) told me that 70% of a switch exists to support billing (25% to intelligent features, and 5% just routing phone calls [1]) and that if The Monopolistic Phone Company(ies) would just switch to flat-rate billing (across the board) their profit margin would rise since the development costs for switches would drop dramatically.

[1] Remember that 82% of all stats are made up.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-17 19:22:38.150131+00 by: ghasty

True...we're not comcast.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-17 17:34:17.157967+00 by: Dan Lyke

In AT&T's defense, at least they're not Comcast.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-17 16:15:14.155089+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

From my iPhone, ironically, so I haven't chased the links to ground, but Gizmodo looks at ATTs spending on their network.

(Fixed link, grumbles about sites which serve up separate mobile and regular content in non-interchangeable ways elided)

And I keep reading this as "Operation Cuckhold": we're committed to our iPhones (at least for the remainder of our contracts), but we keep seeing it fucked by AT&T.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-17 14:11:06.229251+00 by: andylyke

This and my own experiences with AT&T in the past 2 decades remind me that cultures change only very reluctantly. AT&T lost its monopoly status in the mid 80s, but stubbornly retains the monopoly mindset.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-17 12:31:24.492172+00 by: Chris

what kind of corporate mindset is being revealed here: If you don't build it, they will come anyway........? Prime example of the arrogance and shortsightedness that is fueling the race to the bottom in this country