Telstra’s public ‘payphones’ now FREE to use

Just in case anyone’s seen a payphone around lately, Telstra’s now announced that they’re FREE to use.

Apparently, there are still 15,000 public phones around the country, around truck stops, airports and perhaps around town.

It seems they’ve been used more than we thought as well, with Telstra reporting that 11 million calls were made last year alone.


That includes 230,000 calls to vital services such as Triple Zero.

Since mobile phones became the centre of everyone’s universe, it’s fair to assume that payphones slowly faded into the background.

Telstra has this morning announced that local and national calls to standard fixed line numbers and calls to standard Australian mobiles on the public payphones are now free, in the hopes of building a connected future and contributing to a better, more caring and more including Australia.

“Since mobiles became nearly universal, a lot of Australians might not give them much thought. Until there’s a natural disaster. Until you’re in vulnerable circumstances, homeless or fleeing domestic violence,” CEO of Telstra Andrew Penn said in a statement released today.

“That’s why I decided it’s time to make payphones free. Because 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.

“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.”