Telstra will be switching on its first Wi-Fi hotspots this November as part of a nationwide trial that is set to include 1000 locations before Christmas. The first batch of hotspots will be located at payphone sites in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Canberra. For the rest of 2014, access will be free.
As we reported in May, Telstra's grand Wi-Fi network plans will see the telco build 8000 new hotspots in cafes, community centres and other locations. The combination of these hotspots with individuals is expected to create 2 million hotspots around Australia.
Locations in the initial roll-out include Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall, Bondi Beach in Sydney, Adelaide’s Rundle Mall, Queen Street Mall in Brisbane, Elizabeth St in Hobart, the Civic Centre in Canberra, Hay St Mall in Perth and Smith St Mall in Melbourne.
Six stadiums and concert venues will also get access to the network, including Ethihad Stadium in Melbourne, the Adelaide Oval and the Sydney Cricket Ground.
As mentioned, the new hotspots are part of a trial of Telstra’s Wi-Fi Nation service; a network strategy that aims to grant Wi-Fi to everyone in Australia, as well as giving customers access to Fon hotspots around the world.
Access to the hotspots will initially be free during the trial phase. When network officially launches early next year, you’ll need to be a Telstra broadband customer to use it free of charge. If you’re not, you will need to purchase a day pass for a “small fee” to connect.