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Telstra Loses Payphone Battle

Telstra has lost a bid to install supersized digital payphones in Melbourne and Brisbane.

In a long-running affair, Melbourne City Council has objected to what it has described as billboards masquerading as payphones.

The digital phone booths feature 1.9 metre LCD screens capable of showing four advertisements a minute.

Telstra had planned to install 1800 of the units across the country, but last week lost its bid to appeal a Federal Court decision preventing their installation in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Telstra will be required to pay legal costs to the two councils.

Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane raised concerns that Telstra intended to use the facilities as digital advertising billboards to circumvent planning approvals.

Telstra argued the new payphones were low impact and would be not used to display commercial advertising without planning permission.

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