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December 7, 2003

API VoIP SIP DEAF/Hearing Access with MITEL NETWORKS HighSpeed Communications Highlander Inn Press Release

From: ABLE PLANET, INC. - Dec 7, 2003

Heather Silvestri Jon Carvill Kevin Brother
Able Planet Mitel HighSpeed
303-333-1402 613-592-2122 603-644-5605

Able Planet Teams with HighSpeed Communications Inc., and Mitel Networks to Revolutionize Access for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for People with Hearing Disabilities

Award-winning Mitel Networks VoIP and SIP are paving the way for equal opportunity telecommunications

DENVER - December 04, 2003 - Able Planet, Inc., the company that recently invented a revolutionary micro-technology that allows people with varying levels of hearing loss the opportunity to access telephone technology, has teamed with HighSpeed Communications Inc., a technology provider of voice, data, video and security solutions for enterprises throughout the United States and Canada and Mitel Networks, a leading provider of IP communications solutions, to directly install the award-winning Able Planetâ„¢ micro-technology into VoIP and SIP phones without any other devices. This marks the first time people with hearing loss will have the opportunity to access VoIP and SIP telecommunications.

Realizing the emerging need for VoIP, HighSpeed has successfully implemented and thoroughly tested both IP and SIP phones with Able Planets micro-technology and plans for initial placement of over 50 SIP phones and well over 350 IP phones for the Pine Street Inn Boston Project in early 2004. The Pine Street Inn is a not-for-profit organization committed to serving all in need of shelter, sustenance, and the basic moral and material support to lead a dignified life. The Pine Street Inn serves over 7,300 homeless men and woman at more than 25 locations throughout Greater Boston.

“Our pioneering commitment to IP telephony for people with hearing loss is mission critical for HighSpeed and our vendors," said Jack Sweeney, Vice President and CFO at HighSpeed. “The Able Planet micro-technology is allowing this vision to become a reality.”

HighSpeed first successfully implemented and validated the Mitel phones at New Hampshire-based Highlander Inn with Able Planet's micro-technology. Executives at Highlander Inn approached HighSpeed in June 2003 to identify a way to enhance their Mitel Networks communications system with cutting edge hearing access technology to meet the needs for a conference for people with hearing loss and to meet the needs of their guests, visitors, and employees. This success is possible because the Able Planet technology does not rely on sound amplification nor has electromagnetic properties. HighSpeed chose Able Planet's micro-technology as the best and only technology that would work with the Highlander Inn Mitel Networks system.

Able Planet's micro-technology measures less than 1mm, and designed for direct installation into any telephone handset, cordless, VoIP, SIP, cellular or wireless phone, pay phone, or hands-free sets such as those used for cellular phones, and headsets for multi-media computers and laptops, MP3 players, CD players, stereos, and more. Once installed, the Able Planet technology is transparent; those who do not use a hearing aid are not aware of its presence. The technology allows people with or without hearing aids as well as people with normal hearing the successful use of the same phone, headset, or hands-free system.

Those who do use a hearing aid can take advantage of the technology either leaving the hearing aid on the microphone setting or by flipping the switch on their hearing aid to the "T" setting and adjusting the volume on their hearing aid. This provides individuals with mild to severe-to-profound hearing loss the opportunity to effectively communicate via telephone and other communications devices.

VoIP is technology that translates voice into packets and sends it over an IP network the same way that data is transmitted. According to the Wall Street Journal, about 15 percent of all phones purchased by businesses today use VoIP technology. That figure is expected to exceed 50 percent by 2006. SIP or Session Initiation Protocol is a signaling protocol used to establish sessions in an IP network. A session could be as simple as a two-way telephone call or it could be a multimedia conference center. Essentially, SIP is emerging as the industry standard for connecting communication applications by VoIP and the Internet.

“It is critical that each person has an equal opportunity to access telecommunications and Able Planet's micro-technology provides this for the hearing impaired when using IP phones,” said Don Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Mitel Networks. “We are pleased that HighSpeed Communications, a Mitel Networks Solutions Provider, is incorporating this innovative technology with our industry-leading IP communications solutions for their clients.”

Jo Waldron, CEO of Colorado-based Able Planet, Inc., invented the technology with technical guidance and testing provided by Dr. Joan Burleigh, API President, a thirty-year veteran of the audiology field. Waldron, a nationally acclaimed disability rights champion who was appointed "Disabled American for the Nation" by President Reagan in 1987, spent 11 years as a powerful civilian force in the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

“We applaud HighSpeed, Highlander Inn, and Mitel Networks for leading the charge to bring Digital, IP and SIP telephony to people with all levels of hearing loss,” said Waldron. “Able Planet is thrilled to have created technology that can be directly installed into VoIP and SIP telephones. As a person who is deaf, this means inclusion and usability for people with hearing loss in all current and future internet-based telecommunications. With millions of Americans getting cable modems or DSLs, the number of Internet callers is expected to multiply dramatically. Our technology with VoIP and SIP telephony allows the opportunity for full telecommunication participation of people with hearing loss in schools, hotels, government and businesses worldwide. The VoIP success with the Able Planet technology is so very important given the universal limitations of access for TTY utilization with VoIP systems.”

Utilizing this important technology makes the Highlander Inn one of the first national establishments to follow federally mandated compliance directives to support the need for equal access for people with hearing disabilities.

“We are pleased to have HighSpeed, Mitel Networks and Able Planet assist us with our goal of providing improved accessibility and leading edge technology to our guests and employees,” said Peter Osiecki, Director of Operations at the Highlander Inn.

About HighSpeed HighSpeed is a single source provider of business technology solutions involving the integration of voice, data, video and security technologies. Uniquely positioned in the Northeast corridor of the United States, HighSpeed markets its products and services to a diverse client base in Education, Hospitality, Medical, Government and Corporate environments. For assistance on implementing Able Planet's micro-technology please call 800.413.5910 or visit our web site at

About Able Planet's Technology Able Planet's award winning micro-technology was launched in June 2003 to provide the 34 million+ Americans and the 500 million individuals worldwide with mild to severe-to-profound hearing loss, the opportunity to effectively communicate via all telecommunications and communication devices. Able Planet is the new technology leader for hearing access. Please visit for more information and technical applications.

About Mitel Networks Mitel Networks is a market-leader for voice, video, and data convergence over broadband networks. With a focus on the user experience, the company delivers advanced communications solutions that are easily customized for individual business needs. Through intuitive desktop appliances and applications, businesses are provided with innovative ways to manage information and resources. Vertical markets benefit from integrated solutions that protect existing investments, while enabling new ways to be more cost effective and productive. Mitel Networks is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada with offices, partners, and resellers worldwide. For more information please visit