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Community & Business

24 December, 2020

Payphones and Telstra Air are free this Christmas and New Year

Telstra is giving everyone a chance to connect with friends and family by making their payphones and selected Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots free of charge over the Christmas to New Year period.

By Phil Brandel

Distance may play a part in your Christmas celebration, but separation doesn’t mean you can’t connect with your loved ones. Telstra is giving everyone a chance to connect with friends and family by making their payphones and selected Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots free of charge over the Christmas to New Year period.

The payphone network will be free and available to anyone who needs to use it between December 24, 2020 and January 1, 2021. That way, those who need it can make free local, national and standard mobile calls, SMS to anywhere around Australia.

There are still over 15,000 payphones around Australia, with over 11 million calls made each year – 200,000 of which were to national ‘000’ services. For many, especially vulnerable people like the homeless or those escaping an unsafe family situation, their presence is a vital lifeline.

Last year’s initiative saw almost half a million calls placed for free on the payphone network during the Christmas period. Representing almost 1.2 million minutes of calls between family, friends and loved ones.

During Christmas, feelings of isolation and loneliness can peak.  Anyone who is struggling with their mental health can use a payphone to call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

Of course be mindful of COVID-19 during this time, and If you’re using a payphone or a Telstra Air Wi-Fi access point, please respect social distancing, and to practice hygiene measures like hand washing before and after use.

Things you need to know:

Free calls around Australia to local, national and standard mobiles from Telstra payphones from 24 December 2020 – 1 January 2021 inclusive. Free calls exclude international calls and premium services (19x), Mobile Satellite, and 1234, 12456 directory services. Excludes Telstra rented.


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