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Public Service Commission


11/22/2011 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Re-Issues Request for Proposal for Florida Relay Service Providers

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved a revised Request for Proposal (RFP) for companies wanting to provide relay telecommunications service to the nearly three million hard-of-hearing, deaf, deaf/blind, and speech impaired Floridians.

Bidding companies will be required to submit their bids with charges per billable minute, assuming a three-year contract award, with the option of four one-year extensions.  The revised RFP also includes a clearly defined point system for proposal evaluations, including additional points for a Florida-based call center.

Commissioners first considered potential relay providers in September and, instead of identifying a company, requested a redesigned RFP—with more realistic weighting of basic relay and captioned telephone services and more objective criteria—for selecting a provider offering the most cost effective service for Florida’s citizens using the relay service.

Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Florida Relay Service (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.  The FRS is administered by Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc., with PSC oversight.

In May, the PSC issued the initial RFP for the telecommunications relay system in Florida.  Hamilton Telecommunications, Sprint Communications Company, L.P. (Sprint), and AT&T Corporation had previously submitted bids, before Commissioners reopened the RFP process.  The current contract, provided by Sprint, expires on May 31, 2012.

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