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 June 13, 2014, and bidders are invited to submit proposals to the PSC by August 8, 2014.
“Florida’s Relay Service (FRS) assures everyone has the ability to use the public telephone network and connect with their community,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “We look forward to reviewing the RFPs and selecting the best provider to continue offering this essential service.”
AT&T—the current FRS provider—notified the PSC in January that it would not exercise its options to extend the existing contract, which expires on May 31, 2015. To ensure a seamless transition, the PSC is expected to select a provider in October, with new service beginning on June 1, 2015. FRS provides access to basic telecommunications services for more than 3 million Floridians who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf/blind, or speech-impaired.
Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI), a non-profit corporation, administers the statewide FRS system. 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 special equipment and a communications assistance operator to relay information. A monthly surcharge of up to $.25 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 more information on the RFP, contact Curtis Williams, c/o Carlotta Stauffer, Director, Office of Commission Clerk, Florida Public Service Commission, 2540 Shumard Oak Boulevard, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0850 and reference Docket No. 140029-TP.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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