The Utah Public Service Commission Awards Relay Utah Contract to Sprint
Salt Lake City -- January 19, 2005 -- The Utah Public Service Commission announced today that it selected Sprint Communications Company, L.P. to continue to provide the Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS), Relay Utah, to all Utahns. Following a bidding process involving cost, technology, customer service, and other factors, Sprint was awarded the highest score of the four proposing companies. The contract will run for at least three years, with an option for two more one-year periods, for a maximum of five years.
Relay Utah, the name for the State’s TRS, is a program providing telecommunications services to connect people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and speech disabled using a text telephone or TTY to individuals using a standard telephone. Callers dial 7-1-1 and are connected to a communication assistant (CA) who connects the two callers. The CA types the conversation to the TTY user and reads the TTY message to the traditional phone user. It was initiated in 1988 and was one of the first Relay services to be established in the United States.
"The Commission and Sprint partnered together almost 5 years ago in January, 2000 to provide Relay Utah," said Ric Campbell, Chairman. "Since then Sprint has provided an efficient and cost-effective service while being responsive to the needs of Relay Utah’s TRS users as well as keeping up with the innovative changes in technology such as video relay service and wireless services."
Sprint processes more than 148,000 minutes of TRS calls in its different forms each month for the citizens of the State of Utah. TRS is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year and is available in both English and Spanish.
In addition to TRS, the Commission provides a variety of telecommunication equipment to qualified individuals. Such equipment available are amplified telephones for people who are hard of hearing or TTYs to people who are deaf.
More than 220,000 Utahns are either deaf or hard of hearing, so the Commission continually strives to provide a service for those who have difficulty with hearing and/or speaking over the telephone to communicate with each other and with the hearing community.
Because Sprint is the current TRS provider, there will be no transition between companies. The greatest benefit of the bidding process is that Sprint will be providing a full-time Account Manager to be located in Salt Lake City as well as extra funds for outreach and advertising efforts of TRS.
For more information regarding Relay Utah or telecommunication equipment, please visit www.relayutah.gov or call (801) 530-6769 (V/TTY).