Phone Boxes Are A Dying Breed

Web Survey Reveals Telstra's Phone Boxes Are A Dying Breed

An Australian survey has found Telstra's public phone boxes are an endangered species, as voice over the internet calls take over.

According to a survey of 1,000 respondents in Sydney, 85 per cent had reduced their usage or stopped using Telstra phone boxes after they discovered voice calls over the internet.

About 96 per cent of people surveyed now avoid Telstra's phone boxes, unless in an emergency, preferring internet cafes to make calls.

More than 60 percent of those making voice calls over the net are now also making video calls, with Skype the most popular vehicle for them.

The survey was conducted by fast growing internet café chain, Everywhere Internet, to assess the degree to which its customers use the internet for voice calls.

Internet voice calls are rapidly replacing telephone networks as the preferred route for phone calls, thanks to a new technology known as Voice over Internet Protocol, otherwise known as VoIP.

VoIP converts phone conversations into packets of data to be transmitted down the same wires used to browse the net, send e-mails and swap music.

"Our internet centres are becoming the new phone boxes", said Martin Rushe, Chief Executive Officer of Everywhere Internet. "People can just walk into one of our centres and pay as little as 2 cents per minute for national calls and 5 cents per minute cents for international calls. Calls to other VoIP users are free!"Of the calls made over the internet, friends were the most popular people called, accounting for 70 per cent of all calls, with business calls at 18 per cent and phone calls to mothers ranked third. "A lot of business people use our Internet centers as touch down offices when they're on the move", said Mr Rushe.

"VoIP is fast becoming the standard for communication. It's cheap, it's easy and it's a wake up call for Telstra and other traditional telephony groups", Mr Rushe concluded.