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No-pay phones: Why calls from public phones across Australia are now free 

Ross and Russel
Public phone box

Calls from public phone boxes across the country are now free.

From today, Telstra is waiving fees at its 15,000 phone boxes in a bid to make it easier for people to stay connected in times of crisis.

The move is expected to cost Telstra $5 million in lost revenue.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn says about 11 million calls a year are made from pay phones.

“Over 230,000 of those are actually for emergency-type services like Triple Zero, or people seeking support, people trying to escape from domestic violence, homeless people, it played a big role in the bushfires,” he told Ross and Russel.

“Often what will happen in the bushfires is it will take out infrastructure for power and that will take the mobile network down.

“I figured it’s not a big deal for Telstra to make it free, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

The phone boxes have a maximum call time of six hours.

There will still be charges for international calls from public phones.

Press PLAY below to hear more about why public phones are now free

Ross and Russel