Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved the annual budget for Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI), keeping the monthly surcharge—applied to landline customer bills—at its current 10 cents for the fourth consecutive year. FTRI administers the Florida Relay System (FRS) that provides basic telecommunications access to Florida citizens who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech impaired.
The PSC reduced FTRI’s proposed Fiscal Year 2020/2021 budget by $315,078, making adjustments to equipment expense and regional distribution centers, and authorized a $165,211 Reserve Account transfer to offset the revenue shortfall from an expected six percent decrease in landlines (or access lines). Florida law requires the PSC to approve FTRI’s annual budget.
“Florida’s deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-impaired consumers continue to be well served by the FRS, keeping them connected to family, friends, and businesses,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “The communications industry is rapidly changing, and these individuals now have even more options. Today’s approved budget is sufficient for FTRI to operate based on anticipated expenses, including any unforeseen challenges, and also to meet the needs of those depending on them.”
Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the 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. Sprint Communications Company, L.P., is the current FRS provider.
FTRI is a non-profit organization which contracts with 27 Florida regional distribution centers 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.