Blog Post

Tweeting Works: AT&T Boosts SXSW Network

The tweets, blog posts and constant complaining about AT&T’s (s T) shoddy network coverage at South by Southwest has not fallen on deaf ears. Seth Bloom, a spokesman at AT&T, emailed me 10 minutes ago to say that the carrier is adding capacity to the downtown Austin network, and attendees should see their iPhone (s aapl) (or other AT&T device) experience improve by this evening. Bloom writes:

To accommodate unprecedented demand for mobile data and voice applications at SXSW, we are actively working this afternoon to add capacity to our cell sites serving downtown Austin. These efforts are ongoing, but we anticipate that customers should see improved network performance this evening and for the remainder of the event. We will continue to monitor network performance throughout the event, and will do everything possible to maximize network performance throughout. We apologize to customers who were inconvenienced during this surge in local network demand.

Let’s hope the added capacity helps, and that AT&T customers can keep toting their smartphones, rather than bulky laptops, around the convention center.

29 Responses to “Tweeting Works: AT&T Boosts SXSW Network”

  1. Dude this is ridiculous AT&T fails! im not even a customer they come to my house, ask to dig up some cables so ofc they were allowed to dig up my yard and they left a total mess. There is a hole in my back corner of the yard this is 3 weeks later and they still havent come to fill it up. i have 4 dogs so this is a total annoyance and this is unexcusable. i am not AT&T customer and i never will be due to prior experiences dealing with them and what other people i knew say about them. This is becoming the problem in america these companies get away with pretty much anything they want and abuse their position.

  2. A followup: I am a Blackberry 8100 user – after this “boost” occurred, I found that coverage barely, if at all, improved _inside_ of the convention center – outside was a bit better though. Is the ACC a big faraday cage?

  3. I get the non iPhone people, but given the level of outrage and prevalence of iPhones, I’m surprised at the level of discussion, given that wireless worked everwhere.

  4. Am I the only one a little weirded out that pretty much all the tech press has an iPhone? I mean, I know it’s cool and all, but it does lead to an iPhone-centric coverage of many events and news topic

  5. RoundSparrow

    I agree with Topher, they ignored all the iPhone local sales, complaints during SXSW 2008, 4th of July 2008, ACL 2008, and who knows how many other times I didn’t personally experience it. All those times it was 4+ hours of totally unable to surf the web via iPhone or a laptop card.

  6. John Goodwin

    So anti-corporate attack ads work, eh? Perhaps politicians led the way with the effectiveness of negative ad campaigns. Consumers should just band together and hunt in packs. Target vulnerable corps and hit ’em up for all it’s worth. Can’t hurt the ad biz in the blogosphere either. Hmmm.

  7. That’s great to hear, it’s a bit frustrating to see people sitting right next to me in panels and at parties on their (AT&T) iPhones, while my (AT&T) BlackBerry is choking and can’t get a signal to save its life.

  8. At first thought about this it seemed I agreed with the other comments. But thinking about it for a second you must realize that SXSW and the city might be to blame as well?

  9. AT&T is dumb. The same thing happened at ACL in the fall. AT&T phones didn’t work anywhere near Zilker Park for the entire weekend. VZW phones worked fine. Clearly AT&T doesn’t learn from there mistakes. I fly down to SXSW on Tuesday and I was actually considering putting my old VZW phone on month-to-month plan so I had a working phone next week. Hopefully they actually fix things and don’t just say they are working it. I love my iPhone, but AT&T has to be the worst cellular carrier in the modernized world. As soon as VZW gets a decent phone, I’m switching back.

  10. Great news! I was at a Verizon Wireless party last night and if they’d been selling phones, they would have had a bunch of new customers. Hard to believe AT&T didn’t anticipate increased demand during SXSW.