Unlimited access to Telstra Air for home broadband users

Alex Kidman 10 March 2017

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Data usage at Telstra Air hotspots will not be counted against user's home broadband quota.

Telstra’s nationwide Wi-Fi network, Telstra Air, has long been adding value to the telco's services, with customers on both mobile and fixed broadband services able to access the network from thousands of those bright pink Telstra Air hotspots atop phone booths, as well as in Telstra stores and at any other hotspot locations.

The way that data usage from these hotspots is counted varies depending on whether you are a mobile or fixed line Telstra customer. For Telstra Mobile customers, access has to date been free with no particular data cap.

Strictly speaking, Telstra contract mobile customers have 10GB to use, but Telstra has essentially perpetually extended a free data offer that allows unlimited access to Telstra Air hotspots for its mobile customers. That deal currently expires on 27 March 2018, but even then Telstra notes that this is unless the offer is extended. Prior history suggests that this is quite likely.

If you’re a Telstra broadband customer, the conditions of use have always been a little different. To gain Telstra Air access, you have to be using a home broadband modem that acts as part of the Telstra Air network.

You’re not giving total strangers access to your home Wi-Fi network, but you are allowing a certain quantity of the incoming bandwidth to your location to be used by Telstra Air customers. In return, you get Telstra Air access at any location where it's available, as well as access to "Fon" hotspots worldwide, but usage is counted against your own home broadband quota and you can only access Telstra Air hotspots if you have remaining data on your plan.

However, Telstra has shifted this equation as part of a deal set to expire on 27 March 2018. From 28 March 2017, Telstra fixed line broadband customers will get the same unlimited data access to Telstra Air as their mobile equivalents. The requirement of having remaining data available will also be waived under the deal until at least 28 March 2018.

So if you've been holding off on using Telstra Air because of the conditions of use, in just a few short weeks they'll disappear entirely, at least for 12 months.

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