OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), March 23, 2011 – The Commonwealth of Kentucky recently selected Sprint (NYSE:S, news, filings), one of the leading providers of Telecommunication Relay Services (TRS), to provide its full suite of relay products to the Commonwealth as the newly designated Kentucky Relay Services provider beginning March 1, 2011.
In October of 2010, the Kentucky Public Service Commission released a Request for Proposal in order to comply with federal laws requiring that telecommunications relay services be provided. A team of experts in the area of telecommunications technology and the needs of deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing relay users evaluated and scored each proposal. A three-year contract was awarded to Sprint with an option for a subsequent two-year extension.
Kentucky Relay allows hearing callers, text-telephone (TTY), CapTel and Speech to Speech (STS) users to communicate with one another through trained Relay Operators, particularly when the hearing party does not have specialized telecommunications equipment. Kentucky Relay is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. There are no restrictions on the number or length of calls. The service is confidential, and records of conversations are not maintained.
Emma Danielson of Sprint will serve as the Account Manager and the primary point of contact for Kentucky Relay once the transition is complete. Danielson brings to the account 15 years of experience in the Telecommunications Relay Field. As a Relay customer herself, Danielson has insight and firsthand knowledge of the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing population she serves. “I am looking forward to working with all Kentuckians’ with their telephone communications needs and keeping them connected with one another,” said Emma Danielson, Sprint account manager for Kentucky Relay.
Sprint Relay will employ a comprehensive outreach program that includes several outreach specialists who will provide awareness to Kentucky residents about new telecommunications relay features, such as Internet-based relay services, including WebCapTel, Internet relay, Video relay, Wireless relay and other technologies under development. Sprint Relay has also developed a new website, www.kentuckyrelay.com on behalf of the Commonwealth that is designed to provide additional information on the services offered.
In addition, Sprint Relay will provide outreach services to increase awareness to hearing users and businesses about relay services. Due to the misconception that relay services are telephone marketing services, businesses often hang up on relay callers. One of the key awareness activities is called “Please, Don’t Hang Up.” This awareness campaign involves sending informational postcards and other materials to key businesses such as banks, hospitals, medical clinics, government agencies and services industries. Sprint Relay will also post a video clip on the Kentucky Relay website relating to the “Please, Don’t Hang Up” message.
“Sprint Relay is excited to work with the Commonwealth of Kentucky to provide telecommunication needs to the deaf and hard of hearing community. It has been our goal for the past 20 years to continue improving the quality of our services allowing individuals with hearing loss access to the telephone,” said Mike Ellis, director of Sprint Relay.
Sprint provides relay services for 31 states and the Federal Government, in addition to the Country of New Zealand and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Sprint also provides Captioned Telephone “CapTel” services to 31 states and the Federal Government.
About Sprint Relay
Sprint is the largest and most technologically advanced Telecommunications Relay Service provider in the nation with more than 20 years of experience in providing relay services to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind or have a speech disability to communicate with hearing persons on the phone. Sprint’s experience in this field assures Sprint Relay users receive quality service regardless of the type of relay service they are using. Sprint’s relay service is available 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year, with no restrictions on the number of calls placed or calls length. For more information, visit www.sprintrelay.com.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 49.9 million customers at the end of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Stephanie Greenwood, 913-315-1612