Telstra now aims to help make public payphones "payless" under a new initiative. Australians will now be able to make free phone calls through public pay phones stretched all across the country!
Telstra on Free Pay Phone Usage
According to News.com.au, Telstra announced that standard national calls as well as SMS from the company's wide network of over 15,000 pay phones stretched across Australia will be made free! This announcement also mentions that the pay phones will also transition to coinless beginning October 1, 2021.
Consumers, however, will still have to pay for overseas calls. According to Andrew Penn, Telstra's chief executive, pay phones were really vital, particularly for the people that are homeless or possibly trying to escape a potentially unsafe situation. Telstra is rolling out of high-speed 5G to particular suburbs and has therefore been busy.
Telstra CEO Andrew Penn Statements
There were about 11 million calls made all across Australia pay phones through the course of the past year. This includes over 230,000 to certain critical services as well as triple-0s and Lifeline. Telstra CEO Penn even noted that "it's not a big deal for Telstra," as reported on ABC.News.AU.
Penn noted that they have been moved by seeing first-hand queues of people that are lining up to use a pay phone in order to tell their family or friends they are safe after a cyclone, bushfire, or some other type of natural disaster. Penn noted that they can only imagine the relief that the caller's parents and friends all feel when they find out that their loved ones are safe during those types of situations.
Penn on Domestic and Family Violence
Penn also noted that free calls on pay phones could help in certain situations of domestic and family violence. Penn cited a rise in the behavior during COVID-19 lockdowns. He noted that it is not always easy for people that are in these types of situations to use their home phone or their own mobile phone in order to get help.
The Telstra CEO notes that they hope that by making pay phone calls free, the company might play a small part in providing assistance to those that need help. The new initiative reportedly builds on Telstra's five-year program to be able to provide free national calls using its pay phones throughout the New Year and Christmas period.
Free Pay Phones as 'Game Changer'
This also makes it easier for homeless people to contact their loved ones. Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle even labelled the decision a type of "game changer" that could potentially lift vulnerable Australians out of social poverty or even isolation. Telstra has also sealed a deal along with Motorola to help build five government radio networks.
It was noted that the reality is that this particular piece of infrastructure is absolutely critical due to a lot of Australians either not having their own mobile phone, losing it, or simply running out of juice or credit. It was noted that connections are absolutely vital for everyone and much more for those that are vulnerable.
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Written by Urian B.