The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today voted to extend the Sprint Relay contract option for one year beginning June 1, 2010. In 2005, Sprint Communications Company L.P. (Sprint) and the PSC signed a three-year contract to provide relay services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing that contained extension options for four additional one-year periods. This is the third one-year extension approved by the Commission.
Contract rates paid for traditional telecommunications relay service (TRS) will be $0.85 cents per minute and $1.47 per minute for CapTel captioning service. Florida’s rates continue to rank below the average TRS and CapTel rates charged in other states.
“With the contract extension, Sprint will continue to provide phone services for Florida’s hearing impaired residents,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II. “It’s important for Florida’s deaf community to be able to connect to family, friends, and businesses by telephone.”
The relay service allows Florida’s nearly three million hard-of-hearing, deaf, deaf/blind, and speech impaired residents to be connected to vital emergency and community services. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Florida’s relay service facilitates telephone calls between people with hearing loss or speech disabilities and other individuals by using special equipment and a communications assistance operator to relay information.
The Commission also approved Mr. Louis J. Schwarz as a Telecommunications Access System Act (TASA) advisory committee member to replace Ms. Julia Michalka, effective immediately. Mr. Schwarz is senior managing partner of Schwarz Financial Services LLC, which provides financial services for the deaf in America. Mr. Schwarz has served the deaf community for over 40 years through many organizations.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.