I attended the 2016 Indianapolis 500 race last weekend. On Sunday morning, we (me and about 500,000 people) headed to the speedway for the largest single day sporting event EVER. We parked very close to the track ($100 and worth every penny) and did some tailgating. A short time after I got there, I looked at my phone to find the following error:

Restricted access changed

Data service is blocked.

Here’s a screen shot of the error:

Figure 1

While the error message isn’t very clear, I wasn’t surprised. Even though Verizon sponsored the event, I’m sure of the 500k participants at the race, a good many of them were AT&T customers and the network simply got overloaded. Having previously worked at AT&T, I know they work really hard to accommodate large crowds at events, but this one, being the largest event EVER, was probably more than they could handle.

A former colleague apparently tried to call and text me during the race in order to meet and grab a beer, but he was never able to get through to me. After leaving the event everything went back to normal.

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