Telstra’s network of 15,000 payphones is now free to use for standard national calls and SMS

Aussies can now use Telstra’s 15,000 public payphones for FREE

  • Telstra payphones will be free from Tuesday for standard national calls and SMS
  • The network of 15,000 payphones will also be completely coinless by October
  • Over the past year, 11 million calls and 230,000 critical calls were made through payphones

Australians can make free calls from public payphones across the country under a new Telstra initiative.

Standard national calling and texting from Telstra’s network of more than 15,000 payphones will be made free from Tuesday, while payphones will become completely coin-free from October 1.

But consumers will still have to pay for international calls.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn (pictured right with Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle on the left) has announced that the network of 15,000 telecom companies’ payphones will be free for standard national calls and SMS from August 3 and will be completely coin-free by October 1.

About 11 million calls were made through Telstra payphones in the past year, including 230,000 calls to critical services such as triple zero and Lifeline.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said payphones are a vital lifeline, especially for the homeless and those escaping an unsafe situation.

“I was moved to see first-hand queues of people waiting in line to use a pay phone to tell their family and friends that they are safe after a forest fire, cyclone or other natural disaster that has shut down the mobile network,” he said in a statement.

Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle labeled the decision a 'game-changer' that could lift vulnerable Australians out of social poverty and isolation

Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle labeled the decision a ‘game-changer’ that could lift vulnerable Australians out of social poverty and isolation

Mr Penn (pictured) said payphones are a vital lifeline, especially for the homeless and those trying to escape an unsafe situation

Mr Penn (pictured) said payphones are a vital lifeline, especially for the homeless and those trying to escape an unsafe situation

“I can only imagine the relief their families feel when they know their loved one is safe.”

Telstra has previously made free national calls to its payphones over the Christmas and New Year period, making it easier for homeless people to contact others.

Major Brendan Nottle of the Salvation Army called the decision a ‘game changer’ that could lift vulnerable Australians out of social poverty and isolation.

“The reality is that this piece of infrastructure is absolutely critical because many Australians either don’t have a mobile phone, lose it or the phone charger, or simply run out of credit,” he said.

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