Free Wi-Fi is now available to anyone across selected Telstra payphones

These days most of us take smartphones for granted. But we know there are still many people who are isolated or in vulnerable circumstances who have access to a mobile device, but no data to be able to connect with others.
· 07 November 2023 · 3 minute read

Since August last year, around 3,000 of our Wi-Fi enabled payphones across Australia will offer free Wi-Fi access to anyone, with work already underway on the rest of our 12,000 payphones to provide free Telstra Wi-Fi over the next few years.

This was the next step in ensuring all Australians are able to stay connected and follows our decision last year to make calls from public payphones free.

Over the last few years we’ve seen payphones play a vital role in many communities across the country, particularly those impacted by disasters such as the recent floods in Northern NSW and Queensland, and summer bushfires.

These areas are where we are prioritising upgrading our payphones to be more power resilient and enabling Wi-Fi across around 1,000 payphone locations.

@telstra Free Wi-Fi is now available to annnnnyone across selected pay phones #telstra ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

In addition to being able to make calls from these locations, access to Wi-Fi allows more people to connect with loved ones to let them know they’re safe and to access other important online resources.

Almost 19 million free calls have been made from Telstra payphones in the past year, with over 250,000 calls made to critical services like Triple Zero (000) and Lifeline. Centrelink was the most dialled service from payphones in the past year.

Those calls show more than a 70 percent rise in call volume from payphones when compared to the previous year, showing the vital role the humble Telstra payphone still plays in our community.

As part of our T25 strategy, we are committed to supporting digital inclusion and keeping customers in vulnerable circumstances connected. Making payphone calls and Wi-Fi free and accessible to everyone is a reminder that technological change is about more than just innovation.

The easiest way to log into free Telstra Wi-Fi is to find a ‘Free Telstra Wi-Fi’ branded payphone and connect to the ‘Free Telstra Wi-Fi’ network in your device settings.

But if you’d like a bit more help, we’ve got a map to find your closest Wi-Fi enabled payphone and a step-by-step guide on how to connect below.

Where to find free Telstra Wi-Fi in Australia

Not sure where your nearest payphone is? Use our payphone locator tool to find your nearest payphone.

How to connect to Telstra Wi-Fi

  • Find your closest Telstra Wi-Fi enabled payphone on the map in our Find Us page. Or you can just look for the “free Telstra Wi-Fi” branded payphones while you’re out and about.
  • Turn on your device’s Wi-Fi if it isn’t already on.
  • Select the “free Telstra Wi-Fi” in your Wi-Fi settings.
  • The Telstra Wi-Fi portal will launch automatically where you’ll just need to agree to the terms and conditions.
  • That’s it! You’re online.

After you connect to a Telstra Wi-Fi network for the first time, your device should automatically connect to other Telstra Wi-Fi hotspots too. If it doesn’t, just repeat the steps above to connect.

By Michael Ackland

Chief Financial Officer and Group Executive, Strategy & Finance

Michael is responsible for all our Consumer & Small Business sales and service channels. He joined Telstra in 2016 as Executive Director of Telstra Country Wide, with responsibility for over 350 retail stores and over 16,000 partners nationally. Michael joined Telstra from GE, where held the role of CEO GE Healthcare, Australia and New Zealand. In his 12 years at GE, Michael held various executive leadership roles across GE’s Australia and New Zealand business, including financial services, corporate and healthcare divisions. Prior to GE, Michael was Principal at The Boston Consulting Group, where he worked for eight years.