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April 14, 2003

Sprint Awarded Three-Year Relay Service Contract for State of Mississippi

From: PRNewswire (press release) - Apr 14, 2003

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The State of Mississippi has
signed a multiyear communications agreement that will make Sprint
(NYSE: FON, PCS) the official provider of Telecommunications Relay Service
(TRS) within the state, replacing former contract holder AT&T. Mississippi
joins 27 other states plus Puerto Rico and the federal government in selecting
Sprint Relay to provide TRS to the deaf and hard of hearing. The new Sprint-
powered service will be available July 1st within Mississippi by dialing 711
or one of several toll-free numbers; Sprint will also provide video relay
services for the state through a Web site:
(Photo: )
"This contract win is a testament to the hard work and great service put
forth by Sprint's Relay team each and every day to millions of deaf and hard
of hearing Americans," said Tony D'Agata, vice president and general manager
of Sprint's Government Systems Division. "We have a dozen years of experience
in providing these types of lifeline services to citizens and it's the
experience level and quality of Sprint services that have made it possible for
Sprint to have been awarded more TRS contracts than any other provider."
The agreement is expected to deliver significant cost savings to the state
while providing a wide range of assistive communications technologies.
Sprint's experience in the field also provides the assurance that all services
delivered will meet or exceed Federal Communications Commission mandates for
Sprint will provide relay service to allow Mississippi citizens who are
deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled to communicate with
hearing persons on the phone through traditional, online or video relay
Traditional relay services involve a relay operator serving as an
intermediary for phone calls between a deaf user and a hearing party. The TRS
operator speaks words typed by a deaf user on a text telephone (TTY) or via
the Internet, and relays the hearing person's spoken response by typing back
to the deaf user. Video relay service ( ) uses a similar
process but enables the deaf user to communicate in American Sign Language via
a computer with a Web camera instead of typing.
"Sprint responded professionally and competitively concerning the state's
TRS requirements during the contract process," said Randy Tew, TRS
Administrator, Mississippi Public Service Commission. "With their expertise
in providing high-quality relay services nationwide, we look forward to
working with Sprint to bring new and exciting relay solutions to our
Sprint Government Systems Division ( ) is based in
Herndon, Va., and offers the full range of Sprint product and service
offerings for federal and state government customers. Sprint Relay began in
1990 and provides state-of-the-art technology, a full range of features and
highly-trained, professional staff to ensure users are able to communicate
easily and effectively every time they place a relay call. Relay service is
available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no restrictions on the number
of calls placed or call length. Sprint's national Internet Relay service is
available at ; its national Video Relay Service, a
joint venture with Communication Services for the Deaf, is available at .
For questions about Mississippi Relay, contact Andy Leffler, Interim
Account Manager at 877-437-1242 (TTY), 919-713-2383 (voice) or e-mail at

About Sprint
Sprint is a global communications company serving more than 26 million
business and residential customers in over 70 countries. With approximately
72,000 employees worldwide and nearly $27 billion in annual revenues, Sprint
is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying state-of-the-
art network technologies, including the United States' first nationwide all-
digital, fiber-optic network and an award-winning Tier 1 Internet backbone.
Sprint provides local voice and data services in 18 states and operates the
largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless network in the United

© 2003 PRNewswire