Are you a Telstra home broadband customer? If you opt in to share your home Wi-Fi with strangers, you’ll get free access to the Telstra Air network of nationwide Wi-Fi. That network is live and switched on in thousands of locations as of today.
Telstra Air is the new name for what was a year ago called Wi-Fi Nation, but that existing mesh of thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots in old payphones and cafes is being supplemented by new deals with shopping centres, large sporting stadiums and public transport hubs to build out and expand the Air network to cover a larger area of Australia’s metropolitan areas.
When they sign up for Telstra Air, a Telstra home broadband user’s home Wi-Fi network will be split into two, with one frequency band re-broadcast as a Telstra Air hotspot and with bandwidth available to any other Air customer that might want to use it. So, to have the ability to use a Telstra Air hotspot when you’re not at home, you’ll have to be comfortable with sharing a “small portion” of your home Internet connection publicly. This usage, of course, will come from the Air user’s quota and not the home broadband owner’s allowance, and the separate Wi-Fi network should be completely isolated from the user’s home Wi-Fi for extra security.
Four Telstra Gateway modems already support the Telstra Air network — they’ve had over-the-air software updates to enable the additional Wi-Fi networks in the background. Every Telstra modem sold in the future, too, will support the creation of Air networks through secondary Wi-Fi frequencies. If you’re a home broadband user and want to opt in to the Telstra Air program, take a look here.
Of course, if you’re not already a Telstra home broadband customer, then you’ll be able to access an Air hotspot by paying the regular Fon prices — $6.60 for an hour, $10 for a day, $23 for five days: