Telstra expands national Wi-Fi network

Adds 1500 hotspots to Wi-Fi network; service to remain free until June

One of Telstra's Wi-Fi-enabled payphones. Image credit: Telstra.

One of Telstra's Wi-Fi-enabled payphones. Image credit: Telstra.

Telstra plans to add more than 1500 hotspots to the rollout of its national Wi-Fi network, the telco said today. In addition, the network will remain free to access until June.

Telstra last year revealed details of its $100 million Wi-Fi rollout.

The wireless network is being built on hotspots attached to payphones and located in exchanges and Telstra retail stores, as well as shared connections from Telstra BigPond customers.

The telco switched on the first, payphone-based hotspots late last year.

Telstra earmarked 1000 sites for the initial trial. Today the company said it would add Wi-Fi to its 80 retail stores later this year.

The existing 1100 hotspots are spread across 250 suburbs and towns, according to Telstra.

"When the full network launches customers who sign up to become a member of the network will have access to more [than] 3500 Telstra built Wi-Fi hotspots, the residential hotspots created by other members and more than 14 million hotspots worldwide," said Gordon Ballantyne, Telstra Retail group executive.

Since November, over 270TB of data has been downloaded using the service, Telstra said.

Telstra is inviting the public to participate in selecting the location of some of the new hotspots.

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"We want the community to be a part of the rollout and are giving them a chance to tell us where we should priorities switching on 500 of the new sites," Ballantyne said.

"We have a list of areas where we think Australians might like to use Wi-Fi but we want to know for sure by asking people where they would like the next Wi-Fi hotspots switched on."

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