Phone Box 2.0–Phone Boxes Transformed

October 2, 2014 12:10 PM

TelstraAbout four months ago, I published a story on Tech Reviewer about a photo of a phoneless phone booth for people to use to talk on their mobile phones. In my story, I stated that I thought it was a good idea and I was yet to see something like that in my native Australia.

Now I’m not too far from seeing it, or at least something like it.

News has come out in Australia that lonely and almost forgotten Telstra phone boxes will be transformed into Wi-Fi hot spots. Telstra revealed this plan in May and that AUS$100 million will spent over five years to establish 2 million Wi-Fi hot spots across the country–100 will be ready to use on a trial basis in a few weeks, 1000 by Christmas.

The hot spots will work by having Telstra home broadband customers share their bandwidth with passers-by. Telstra customers who agree to share their bandwidth will get free access to the hot spots with the data being subtracted from their set home allowance. Usually allowances with Telstra are monthly, however this depends on an individual customer’s plan.

So why use lonely and almost forgotten phone boxes?

Because most phone boxes are located in busy public areas like malls and train stations and are connected to high-speed fibre cabling. It’s ingenious when you think about it–perfect location and the phone boxes themselves are transformed, evolved, put to good use and apparently the phones will still be there. They are Phone Boxes 2.0.

The trial sites will be seen in popular tourism and holiday areas, as well as highly busy areas in Australia’s capital cities.

I’m not connected to the internet at home by Telstra and I don’t use the internet on my smartphone, however what I am most interested in is seeing what these transformed phone box Wi-Fi hot spots (aka Phone Boxes 2.0) will look like and how popular they will be again.