Telstra makes Australia’s 15,000 public payphones free to use

Exclusive: Starting Tuesday, Telstra’s bold move, which is expected to lose more than $ 5 million in revenue, will be free from just asking for help from one of Australia’s 15,076 payphones or calling a friend. increase.

As part of the telephone payphone overhaul, both local and domestic calls are free, and calls to Australian mobile numbers are unlimited except for the 6-hour call limit.

However, consumers still have to pay to make a call abroad.

NS Salvation Army This move is called a “game changer” and may help free vulnerable Australians from “social isolation”. Australian Communications Consumer Behavior Network We also welcomed the movement as an important lifeline from cities to rural areas.

Telstra CEO Andy PenMore than 11 million calls will be announced at the event on Tuesday morning Public telephone Despite its reputation as a historic relic, last year in Australia.

media_cameraEthan Carrie, 11 years old, on a pay phone in St Kilda, Melbourne. Payphones will be available for free today and Telstra is expected to cost millions of dollars.Photo: Wayne Taylor

“It’s interesting now that people look at payphones and assume that it’s a thing of the past and no one is using them anymore,” he said. “It must not be different from the truth.”

Last year, 230,000 payphones connected callers to important services such as lifelines and triple 0, and payphones provided significant support to crime victims, Penn said.

“There are many situations where we have seen first-hand how they made a difference in difficult situations,” he said.

“In the case of victims of domestic violence, the perpetrator often confiscates or steals the only communication device the victim may have. And in many cases, the victim contacts the outside world. The only way you can get help is with a pay phone. “

Salvation Army Major Brendan Notre, commander of a charity in Melbourne, said making free calls is a “game changer” and encourages more people to contact the service for help. Not only did he say it would help break the cycle of loneliness.

Telstra phone booth at Flinders Street Station in Melbourne.Photo: AAP image / Simon Mosman
media_cameraTelstra phone booth at Flinders Street Station in Melbourne.Photo: AAP image / Simon Mosman

“It encourages people to reconnect, and we think it’s important,” said Major Nottle.

“For many of us we see, the underlying problem is often social isolation. This is an invisible epidemic and one of the problems that affects so many people. Family and It’s invaluable to be able to call friends for free. “

ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin said Australia’s payphone network is often undervalued, but remains useful for students, homeless people, and urban emergencies: “Everyone has a device. “I don’t have”, he said, arguably more important in local and remote communities.

“They can be very important in the indigenous community,” she said.

“Often this is the only fixed-line connection in the community, and many of those payphones run on solar panels.”

Telstra has previously eliminated payphone charges in the event of an emergency, such as the 2019 wildfire with 3.5 million calls and the remote indigenous communities after the Covid-19 outbreak.

Last year’s 11 million phone counts would have resulted in $ 5.5 million for each 50c, but Penn said it wasn’t a “huge amount”, but Telstra’s free payphones. Did not reveal the amount of money. A new life for “symbolic” assets.

“I want people to use it,” he said. “I want to increase usage and watch a lot of social media. I think payphones are cool again.”

Ethan Carrie, 11, from Melbourne, is excited to know that she can use a pay phone for the first time yesterday to send a text message from her machine, but is confused that she has to press a number button to do so. He said he did.

Find your place Click here for the nearest pay phone..

Originally released A new way for Australians to make free calls

Place of originTelstra makes Australia’s 15,000 public payphones free to use

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