Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved the annual budget for Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI), keeping the monthly surcharge paid by Florida telephone customers at 11 cents. FTRI administers the statewide Florida Relay System (FRS) that provides access to basic telecommunications services for more than three million Florida citizens who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf/blind, or speech-impaired.
“This is the fifth year that we’ve kept the monthly surcharge the same for this vital service for Florida’s hard-of-hearing residents,” said PSC Chairman Ronald Brisé. “We’re pleased that Florida can offer these vital communication services to keep deaf or speech-impaired consumers connected to family, friends, and businesses.”
In February, the PSC approved a three-year contract with AT&T Relay Services to provide Florida’s FRS service. AT&T’s new contract rate, effective June 1, is lower than the current FRS contract rate and offers the most cost effective service for Florida’s citizens. 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.
Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, FRS facilitates telephone calls between people with hearing loss or speech disabilities and other individuals by using specialized equipment and a communications assistance operator to relay information.
FTRI is a non-profit organization with 23 Florida locations to assist consumers with specialized phone needs. For information on how to obtain the special equipment, call FTRI at 1-800-222-3448 (Voice) or 1-888-447-5620 (Text Telephone/TTY) or visit www.ftri.org.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.