Telstra making calls on payphones free

When was the last time you used a payphone? With the near universal use of mobile phones, they have become a relic that is more noticeable for the advertising that they carry.

Well, you might just have a use for them again, now. Telstra has announced that it is making local and national calls to standard fixed line numbers and standard Australian mobiles free!

There are around 15,000 payphones around Australia and they have been part of Australia's landscape since they were first used in the 1880s.

Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn said that payphones still played a vital role in the community.

"Even in the age of the smartphone they play such a critical role in our community, particularly in times of need, and particularly for those in need," Mr Penn said.

"I’ve seen myself how much payphones are part of the fabric of Australia and how important they are in good times, and bad. I’ve seen queues of people waiting in line, coins at the ready, to use a payphone to call home and tell their family and friends they’re safe after a bushfire, a cyclone or some other natural disaster has taken the mobile network down.

"I know payphones are also a lifeline for thousands of vulnerable Australians – the homeless, the isolated, those escaping domestic violence – and often provide their only link to critical support services and those that care about them.

"Last year alone Australians made 11 million calls on payphones, including more than 230,000 calls to vital services like Triple Zero, so there’s no doubt payphones are already often the lifeline that’s there when it’s needed most."

What do you think about the decision to make payphones available to use for free? When was the last time that you used a payphone?


I think it's a fantastic idea. I haven't used a payphone for at least  10 years because all the phones near our place had been vandalised.

You can find the location of a public payphone with the Payphone locator search tool on the link above. 

I was amazed at the number of payphones available in the different areas.

Thanks for that Suze was interesting to see how many there were in my area too, going to check next time and see if they are still there lol. 

Strange thing is they are all close to shops and built up areas, you are stuffed if you are in a rural area and your mobile phone does not work.

Couldn't get the locator to  work for me so maybe there are no public phones in our small bush town. Regardless, I think making so many calls free is a great idea and I think it will bring welcome relief to those among us who need assistance and don't have access to the ubiquitous mobile phone - or who may not want a record of their call on their mobile! I wonder what impact this will have on the use of mobiles??? For those on fixed or very low incomes the impact could be quite considerable.

Good on Telstra! Nice to hear they are doing good, probably cost more to get them removed. People or even kids escaping domestic violence can often not have a mobile phone or with no credit so this very crucial for this purpose, and of course in some areas where reception on mobile can be sketchy. Might be an idea to use it to ring up those Government places where you are kept on hold for ages, take a chair and a picnic lunch while waiting lol.

Also think it is vital for when the mobile phone networks go down like they say in bush fires it is crucial.

I think it is wonderful that they are making them free --it will help those that are homeless or out of work or anyone else in dire straights


I hope they don't get vandalised


The last time I use one was about 1987


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