Since their Australian introduction in the late 19th century, public telephones have undergone several design iterations; diversifying methods of payment from coin to card, incorporating solar charging, mobile charging and Wi-fi access and of course, mitigation against vandalism. This model, a coin-operated Gold Phone, replaced the easily pilfered Red Phone and was succeeded by the Blue Phone in the 1990s.
Although the prevalence of public telephones has decreased alongside the increase in mobile phone usage, public telephones remain under Telstra’s universal service obligation as vital communications infrastructure for low-income citizens and those needing to communicate in disasters. An estimated 13 million calls are made annually from public payphones, 200,000 of which are to triple zero.
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