You can now get free WiFi from Telstra, even if you’re not a customer

Free as in beer.

This story was originally published on our sister website WhistleOut Australia.

Alex Choros
Aug 25, 2022
Icon Time To Read1 min read

Over 3,000 Telstra payphones are now offering free WiFi access to anyone, not just Telstra customers.

A large number of Telstra payphones have acted as public WiFi hotspots for a number of years now as part of the Telstra Air program, but you've had to be a Telstra customer to actually use the service. Non-customers could connect, but had to pay to get internet access.

Telstra plans to upgrade the remainder of its 12,000 payphones to provide free WiFi over the next few years.

Telstra payphone

Telstra Group Executive for Consumer and Small Business, Michael Ackland, said the move is the next step in ensuring all Australians can stay connected.

"These days most of us take smartphones for granted. But we know there are still many people who are isolated or in vulnerable circumstances who have access to a mobile device, but no data to be able to connect with others," said Ackland.

If you're at a payphone with the "free Telstra WiFi" branding, you'll be able to connect to it via the WiFi settings on your device. Once you've connected to one Telstra payphone WiFi, your device should automatically connect to any other Telstra payphone hotspots.

The news follows Telstra making payphones free last year. Around 19 million calls have been made from Telstra payphones in the past year, which is a 70% increase over the previous year. Telstra says that Centrelink was the most dialled service from payphones, and that over 250,000 calls were made to services like Triple Zero and Lifeline.

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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