As it has fairly regularly, Telstra is lifting payment on payphones across Australia, allowing to you call friends and family in a phone box for free.
There’s good news if you’re keen to call friends and family this Christmas and New Year, and don’t have a phone to use: Telstra is lifting the payment from phone boxes from today, December 24, all the way to January 1, 2021.
Across Australia, there are over 15,000 phone boxes in use, with Telstra advising 11 million phone calls are made each and every year, with a good 200,000 of those going to emergency services. Typically phone boxes charge money for calls to anyone who isn’t on an emergency services line, but over the holiday season, it has become a rather quaint tradition for Telstra to lift the payment and make things free, such as it has in prior years.
And in 2020, that appears to be back once more, as Telstra switches off the charges from December 24 to January 1 again, provided you’re not making an international call, a 1234, 123456, mobile satellite, or premium service (19x) call. Basically, if you’re calling friends and family inside Australia and plan to use a phone box for the next week, it’s free.
Telstra is also opening access for the same time to its Telstra Air WiFi, which runs from its phone boxes, meaning there’s also free internet from Telstra for the next week, as well.
Given the year we’ve largely had, a bit of free is likely going to be very helpful for some people, but with the coronavirus in mind, if you do plan to use a phone box, we’d probably carry some wet wipes and hand sanitiser with you, so you can wipe down the payphone and/or your hands and ears, feeling a little safer about the whole freebie in this year of learning how to stay a little more clean in a remarkably more contagious world.