The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved a Request for Proposals (RFP) to provide a telecommunications relay service system in Florida. The RFP will be issued no later than May 11, 2017, and bidders are invited to submit proposals to the PSC through June 16, 2017. Florida’s Relay Service provides access to basic telecommunications services for more than 2.5 million Floridians who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf/blind, or speech-impaired.
“FRS provides the vital communication link to keep those who need to use specialized telephones connected to their family and community,” said PSC Chairman Julie Brown. “We look forward to reviewing the RFPs and selecting the best provider to continue offering this essential service.”
Sprint, the current FRS provider, notified the PSC in February that it would not exercise its options to extend the existing contract, which expires February 28, 2018. To ensure a seamless transition, the PSC is expected to select a provider in September 2017, with new service beginning on March 1, 2018.
Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI), a non-profit corporation, administers the statewide FRS system with PSC oversight. FRS is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to 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. A monthly surcharge of $.11 per landline funds the distribution of specialized telecommunications devices and interstate relay service. 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 http://www.ftri.org.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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