From 24 to 26 December, Telstra will offer free local, national and standard mobile calls from Telstra home phones and its 16,000+ payphones across the country. Free Wi-Fi will also be available at selected Telstra Air public hotspots.

Telstra Head of Fixed Products, Jana Kotatko said our busy lives, combined with the changing role of technology, often means we choose a text message or social media post over a call, and while these are wonderfully convenient ways of getting in touch with our friends and family, nothing quite beats the emotional connection we feel when hearing a loved one’s voice.

“Telstra’s 2016 free payphone calls campaign was a testament to that, with more than 271,000 free payphone calls made over three days. This year, by giving people, even more, ways to contact their friends and family for free, we expect to see this figure rise by at least ten times,” said Kotatko.

Telstra’s free calls and Wi-Fi initiative aims to help Australians reach out to those who matter most this Christmas.

In addition to connecting those separated by distance or circumstance, Telstra’s free calls and Wi-Fi initiative is also set to break down barriers to the social connection for some of the country’s most disadvantaged communities.

Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle said Christmas is an inherently social occasion for many people, but for those faced with personal hardships, such as homelessness, it can be one of the most difficult and lonely times of the year.

“A phone call can go a long way in combatting these feelings of isolation, but many people find themselves without the technology or financial means to get in touch with their loved ones. This initiative from Telstra is helping to provide an invaluable solution to the problem, by offering everyone in the country – regardless of their situation – the chance to connect this Christmas,” said Major Nottle.

Offer excludes international calls, 13 numbers and premium and directory services.