SXSW Started This Weekend; AT&T Suffering The Consequences

iphone_largeNicholas Deleon over at CrunchGear has an interesting post from the perspective of someone attending this weekend’s start of the annual SXSW event in Austin. He calls it “Why Do Users Put Up With Terrible Cellphone Service?” and it basically details the fact that AT&T is struggling to service the throngs of iPhone toting hipsters that have flocked into Austin for the event.

More bars everywhere, yeah right. But what’s the backhaul solution? As users, especially iPhone users, make ever greater use of 3G data services they place increasing demands on the networks backhaul solution. Did you know that most cell towers are only connected to the rest of the world by way of perhaps one or two T-1 lines?

The city as a whole has to adapt to deal with SXSW as it becomes more and more popular. My niece Diana, as resident of Austin tweeted this yesterday:

@Miss_Di it took me 1 hr to cross my city north to south thanks to sxsw! thank goodness the tourists seem to have not discovered mopac.

While SXSW is no doubt an interesting event I will plan to attend the fall Makers Faire in Austin, which places less of a burden on the area.

Update, March16, 2009:

Here’s some related follow-up: