There’s no excuse not to call family and friends over the festive season as Telstra has made its network of 15,000 payphones free to use around Australia.
The telco’s payphones won’t need any coins from Christmas Eve until January 1, with people able to make free local, national and mobile calls.
If you want to see loved one’s faces, selected Telstra Air Wi-Fi access points at their payphones and stores will also be free to use if you prefer video calling.
While most people own a mobile phone these days, there are still more than 11 million calls made each year on payphones, including 200,000 to the national emergency services line.
Telstra ran the same initiative last year, which proved popular with almost half a million calls placed for free on the payphones during the Christmas period. That amounted to almost 1.2 million minutes worth of calls.
Head of the Telstra Foundation, Jackie Coates, encouraged people to use the payphones even if they didn’t need a free call. She said distance was an intrinsic part of this year’s Christmas season but the separation didn’t mean people couldn’t connect with family and friends.
“We know this year has been hard because of lockdown and closed borders, and at Christmas, feelings of isolation and loneliness can peak.” she said.
“It’s important that we help in any way we can so that people can have a vital feeling of connection and hope at this time of year.”