The City of Sydney is joining Melbourne in a fight against Telstra to stop the telco brand from installing new payphones with advertising display panels around the city.
The City of Sydney, which is responsible for the city centre and over 30 surrounding suburbs has disputed Telstra’s plan to install a new kind of payphone across the city area, using its land access powers under the Telecommunications Act 1997.
A spokesperson for the City of Sydney said: “We dispute that Telstra is entitled to install these payphones using these powers.
“We are of the view that equipment being installed is not designed solely for use as a content and carriage service as required.
“We are also of the view that the equipment does not comply with the criteria for low-impact facilities under the Telco Act.”
The City formally disputed Telstra’s plans when they sent a formal notice to the company in late February and is now awaiting instruction from Sydney Council, led by Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
Last month, the City of Melbourne pushed back a bid by JCDecaux to install ad screens on 81 of Telstra’s giant payphones, with reports the company would lose millions from the decision.
The City of Melbourne is also taking Telstra to tribunal to try and stop the company from erecting the advertising panels by using a loophole in the telecommunications act.