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January 7, 2004

State of Alabama Selects Sprint to Provide Relay Services to the Deaf

From: PRNewswire (press release) - Jan 7, 2004

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Alabama has awarded Sprint (NYSE: FON -News, PCS - News) a two-year, $3.7 million Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) contract to provide assistive communications services to the deaf and hard of hearing within the state. Sprint replaces AT&T as the state's official provider of TRS, and will become responsible for delivering nearly 137,500 minutes of assistive communications services each month. Alabama joins 31 states, Puerto Rico and the federal government, who also benefit from Sprint Relay services.(Logo: )

Sprint Relay services will allow Alabama 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 services. Sprint's experience in the field also provides the assurance that all services delivered will meet or exceed Federal Communications Commission mandates for TRS.

The new Sprint Relay services will be available March 1, 2004, within Alabama by dialing 711 or one of several toll-free numbers; Sprint will also provide video relay services for the state through a Web site: , and Internet relay services .

"We're pleased that Alabama has recognized the value of Sprint's experience in providing reliable and cost-effective relay services," said Mike Ligas, region vice president, Sprint Relay. "Critical relay services are essential for those who are deaf and hard of hearing to communicate effectively and the quality of Sprint services will help improve the lives of the citizens of Alabama."

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 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.

For questions about Alabama Relay, contact Paul Rutowski, customer relations manager at 512-873-1044(TTY) or .

About Sprint

Sprint is a global integrated communications provider serving more than 26 million customers in over 100 countries. With approximately 68,000 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 communications services in 39 states and the District of Columbia and operates the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless network in the United States. For more information, visit .

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