Telstra Is Turning Its Payphones Into Wi-Fi Hotspots

Following in the spiritual footsteps of cities like New York, Telstra is re-inventing its payphones strewn across Australia, turning some of them into Wi-Fi hotspots as part of its massive bid for nationwide Wi-Fi coverage. Here's where you can use it.

Image: Cameron Spencer / Getty

Telstra will be turning on hotspots built into its payphones and in other public areas at 1000 sites around Australia in November. Locations include Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall, Bondi Beach in Sydney, Adelaide's Rundle Mall, Queen Street Mall in Brisbane, Elizabeth St in Hobart, the Civic Centre in Canberra, Hay St Mall in Perth and Smith St Mall in Melbourne.

Other locations to get the Wi-Fi networks include six stadiums and concert venues, including Ethihad Stadium in Melbourne, the Adelaide Oval and the Sydney Cricket Ground.

It's a trial of Telstra's Wi-Fi Nation product, set for roll-out next year. The strategy is to roll-out Wi-Fi for everyone around Australia in major areas, as well as giving customers access to Fon hotspots all over the world.

There's a catch, however. Because it's part of Telstra's Wi-Fi nation strategy, you'll have to be a Telstra broadband customer to use it free of charge. If you're not, you'll be hit with what the Big T describes as a "small fee" to connect.

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