Thursday , August 24 2017

Telstra switches on its first Wi-Fi hotspots around Australia

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 10.13.28 am

Telstra is switching on the first of its national network of public Wi-Fi hotspots today in Sydney. The city will be one of 250 towns and cities to receive coverage from Telstra’s Wi-Fi network, with a full roll-out of 1,000 public hotspots to launch by Christmas.

From tomorrow, Sydney residents will be able to trial free Wi-Fi at some of the city’s busiest locations, including Hyde Park, The Rocks, and Bondi Beach. Other areas also switching on today include Melbourne’s Bourke St Mall and Brisbane’s King James Square.

What’s this all about, though? Telstra is aiming to offer Australians access to some two million public Wi-Fi hotspots within the next five years or so. Telstra seems to be utilising its public payphone infrastructure to blanket areas in coverage, at least at the beginning – if you see a pink box atop a payphone, that’s a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Add to that the possibility of accessing a further 13 million hotspots overseas through a partnership with Fon, and Telstra seems to have a pretty lucrative deal going on here. While the initial trial is open to the public, it seems the idea is to have the service accessible to Telstra customers down the track, and to those who purchase a pass to access the hotspots.

Check out our previous coverage of Wi-Fi community here.

While there’s not a huge amount of detail about what the service will look like in future (besides having a fairly large footprint), there’s enough to know that it sounds cool. We’re expecting to see some coverage maps in the next few days with information about the precise location of the hotspots.

If you’re around Hyde Park in Sydney today, check it out and let us know how you find the service.


Update Telstra has provided a list of the hotspots it expects to have online by Christmas:

NSW:
The Rocks, Sydney
Hyde Park, Sydney
Bondi, Sydney
And another 35 locations across Sydney that will come online before Christmas.

Albury
Armidale
Bathurst
Byron Bay
Coffs Harbour
Dubbo
Gosford
Katoomba
The Entrance
Manly
Newcastle
Orange
Parramatta
Penrith
Port Macquarie
Tamworth
Wollongong
Wagga Wagga

VIC:
Bourke St Mall, Melbourne
Lygon Street, Melbourne
St Kilda, Melbourne
And another 45 locations across Melbourne that will come online before Christmas.

Apollo Bay
Ballarat
Bendigo
Dandenong
Frankston
Geelong
Lakes Entrance
Phillip Island
Shepparton
Mildura
Mornington
Ocean Grove
Wonthaggi

ACT:
Canberra
Griffith
Kingston
Phillip

NT:
Alice Springs
Darwin City
Fannie Bay
Katherine
Stuart Park
The Gap

QLD:
Brisbane City
Fortitude Valley
New Farm
West End
And another 25 locations across Brisbane that will come online before Christmas.

Cleveland
Surfers Paradise
Broad Beach
Mermaid Beach
Coolangatta
Toowoomba
Noosa Heads
Rockhampton
Townsville
Cairns
Port Douglas

SA:
Adelaide CBD
North Adelaide
Port Adelaide
Glenelg
Norwood
Victor Harbour
Barossa

WA:
Perth CBD
Vincent
Claremont
Fremantle
Rockingham
Bunbury
Margaret River
Broome

TAS:
Hobart
Launceston
Cambridge
Devonport

 
Source: Telstra Wi-Fi.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

When not writing for Ausdroid, Chris is busy working away at his career within the NSW Department of Justice.

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13 Comments on "Telstra switches on its first Wi-Fi hotspots around Australia"

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JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk

Chris, did you mean King George Square in Brisbane?

JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk

Nice of them.
Free trial to get the punters in, then pay to use thereafter.

Member
Darren

There are next to no public phones where I live TAS.

Duncan_J
Valued Guest
Duncan_J

questions, questions, I wonder if when its paid if it will come off your data cap, because if it does LTE would most likely be faster.

Me
Valued Guest

IIRC, it comes off home broadband allowance instead of your mobile cap

Member

While the service might have a lot of potential, surely this is a really good example of Telstra taking advantage of its monopoly infrastructure position to offer a service that others simply cannot (in any affordable way)?

Annoying Old Fart
Valued Guest
Annoying Old Fart

I agree, this is Telstra being the scumbag monopoly telco we love to hate. “World’s Biggest Public Wifi Network!” – for Telstra customers.

TheBagging Man
Valued Guest
TheBagging Man

Their infrastructure, yet they should provide it to everyone for free??? Just because you are signed up with Dodo or TPG don’t be hating Telstra for giving their customers the higher quality services they pay extra for.

Member

Who said anything about free? It’s another sign of the appalling privatisation of Telstra, which should have been vertically separated at the time, so that the company that owns and maintains the telecommunications infrastructure does not also compete as a service provider.

Annoying Old Fart
Valued Guest
Annoying Old Fart

You’re the one who said “free”. People who’ve been around a while know that the only thing you get for free from Telstra is junk mail.

No mention of how “public payphone infrastructure” will be merged with the NBN (copper is going away, remember). I’d like the ACCC to look into this, and I’d like Telstra to not tizz it up as “community service” – it’s a monopoly-based consumer connectivity offering. In what way is it better than a 3G/4G dongle or a phone tether (if you’re not already a Telstra customer)?

TheBagging Man
Valued Guest
TheBagging Man

As a Telstra customer I’m very happy about this. It will be a free service to those with Telstra home broadband. I don’t see the problem? Because your “cheap” provider won’t be offering this in the near future. Maybe you should put out the splif, stop protesting and upgrade to a premium service.

Annoying Old Fart
Valued Guest
Annoying Old Fart

Maybe I’ll use one of the many free wifi services provided by libraries, shopping centres and retailers, and public transport providers. Or just stick with my dongle.

JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk

The problem with that is Hell$tra do not actually offer anything like a premium internet service for users.

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