AT&T has dismissed Fake Steve’s Operation Chokehold protest as an attention-getting stunt.
Fake Steve is calling on disgruntled AT&T customers to bring AT&T’s data network “to its knees” at 12 noon PST this Friday, December 18.
The action is in protest of comments made by a company executive that some iPhone users are using too much data. The protest started as a joke, but seems to have taking on a life of its own. Judging by comments on forums, Facebook and Twitter, people are planning to take part.
Contacted by CultofMac.com, an AT&T spokesman said:
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. We know that the vast majority of customers will see this action for what it is: an irresponsible and pointless scheme to draw attention to a blog.
The AT&T spokesman doubted the action — if it goes ahead — will have much effect. There’s only about 300 participants committed to take part, according to a Facebook fan page set up for the event. The spokesman also claims that many have criticized the event: several have pointed out that the action may affect emergency calls.
Protesters plan to disrupt AT&T’s data network in several ways:
- Turning off WiFi
- Streaming YouTube videos
- Streaming live video with the new UStream Live Broadcaster app (iTunes link)
- Streaming high-bandwidth video from Akamai’s iPhone Showcase site
It’s unclear whether disruption of AT&T’s data network will affect voice calls.