The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved a three-year contract with AT&T Corporation (AT&T) to provide telecommunications relay service to the nearly three million hard-of-hearing, deaf, deaf/blind, and speech impaired Floridians.
Of the three companies bidding, AT&T received the highest technical score and offered the lowest overall per-minute cost for service. AT&T was also the only bidder opting to locate a call center in Florida, bringing new jobs to the state, which supports the top priority set by Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature.
In September 2011, Commissioners called for a redesigned request for proposal (RFP) to select a relay service provider offering the most cost effective service for Florida’s citizens. The revised RFP, issued December 9, included a clearly defined point system for proposal evaluations, and companies were required to submit their bids with charges per billable minute, assuming a three-year contract award, with the option of four one-year extensions.
Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Florida Relay Service (FRS) 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 FRS is administered by Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc., with PSC oversight.
In May 2011, the PSC issued the initial RFP for the telecommunications relay system in Florida. AT&T, Hamilton Telecommunications Company, and Sprint Communications Company, L.P. (Sprint) submitted bids, before Commissioners reopened the RFP process in September. The same three companies submitted proposals in the second bidding process. The current contract, provided by Sprint, expires on May 31, 2012.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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