While we all prepare for a bit of an uncertain Christmas and New Year, it’s as important as ever to stay in touch with loved ones, family and friends. That’s especially so if you’re unable to see them because of state border closures, but for many of the most vulnerable members of society, this isn’t new – staying in touch can be a constant struggle.
Recognising this, and the need for people to stay in touch over the festive season, Telstra has made its payphone network free over the Christmas and New Year period for the past few years, and it will be continuing the trend this year too.
Between 24 December and 1 January, all calls on Telstra’s payphone network will be free of charge. Last year during this period, almost half a million calls were placed for free, representing 1.2 million minutes of free talk time between family, friends and loved ones.
Select Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots will be free of charge, too – so if you need some data to get in touch, you might be in luck there, too.
Despite the proliferation of mobile devices and increasingly affordable basic plans, Telstra’s payphones remain an important way for Australians to stay in touch, whether its your kids whose mobiles have gone flat and they’re calling you to let you know you’re ok, or whether its a homeless person or a mother and her kids escaping a family violence situation.
There’s over 15,000 payphones in Australia, and they carry around 11 million calls each year, including around 200,000 to vital ‘000’ emergency services.
As always, it’s important to practice good hygiene around public phone use, and Telstra recommends that phone users give their hands a wash before and after using a public phone, and keep your distance from others who may be using or waiting to use a public phone; after all, you don’t want someone coughing on you while using the phone, so do others the same courtesy!
Stay safe out there.