Today, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the annual budget for Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI), keeping the monthly surcharge—applied to landline customer bills—at 10 cents. FTRI administers the Florida Relay System (FRS) that provides telecommunications access to Florida citizens who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Florida law requires the PSC to approve FTRI’s annual budget. FTRI’s approved 2022/2023 Fiscal Year budget expense totals $3.96 million. The PSC increased FTRI’s proposed budget by $208,042 to account for a recent rise in relay service expenses. This budget reflects lower revenues due to reduced access lines and an 11 percent decrease in operating expenses due, in part, to COVID challenges.
“As in past years, reported numbers show a downward trend in relay service call volumes,” said PSC Chairman Andrew Fay. “Today’s approved budget positions FTRI to operate within a changing telecommunications industry and research new technologies for efficient long-term planning.”
Through highly trained operators and specialized equipment, the FRS facilitates telephone calls 24/7, 365 days a year, allowing Florida residents who require relay services to connect and communicate with anyone anytime. As the communications industry offerings continue to expand, traditional relay users are transitioning to Internet, video, and wireless options. Sprint Communications Company, L.P., is the current FRS provider.
FTRI, a non-profit, contracts with 20 non-profit Regional Distribution Centers (RDC) to distribute equipment and provide training. For information on obtaining the FRS 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.