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June 17, 2004

State of North Dakota Extends Contract With Sprint to Provide Relay Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

From: PR Newswire (press release) - USA - Jun 17, 2004

After 11 Years of Providing Quality Services, Sprint Continues Strong Relationship for Another Three Years

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The State of North Dakota has awarded Sprint (NYSE: FON - News) a three-year (plus options) Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) contract to provide assistive communications services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have a speech disability within the state. Through this contract, Sprint will continue to provide TRS to state customers as well as Sprint Relay Online(SM) and Sprint Video Relay. Sprint is responsible for delivering approximately 24,000 minutes of assistive communications services each month in North Dakota.(Logo: )

"Sprint has been a strategic partner from the beginning," said Mike J. Ressler, director and deputy CIO for North Dakota TRS. "Their commitment and dedication to the North Dakota TRS program allows our deaf and hard of hearing citizens access to a class of service that is second to none."

Sprint Relay is accessible throughout North Dakota by dialing 711 or one of several toll-free numbers. Sprint Relay allows North Dakota citizens who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind or who have a speech disability to communicate with hearing persons on the phone through traditional relay services, a process that involves 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. More information is available at .

"Sprint has experienced a successful, long-term relationship with the state of North Dakota as their TRS provider," said Mike Ligas, region vice president, Sprint Relay. "We're pleased to be able to continue providing critical communication services for North Dakota citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have a speech disability."

Sprint Relay Online is also a free service that combines TRS with the ease and ubiquity of the Internet, allowing users to make calls from any PC or Web- enabled Internet device without having to use traditional TTY equipment.

Sprint Video Relay is also available for North Dakota residents ( ) and uses a similar process but enables the deaf user to communicate in American Sign Language with the relay operator via a computer equipped with a Web camera instead of typing. This allows for a much more natural sounding conversation with the hearing party.

Sprint provides FCC-compliant relay services for 32 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the federal government. Sprint Relay began in 1990 and provides state-of-the-art technology, a full range of features, and a 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. Information about Sprint Relay services is available at .

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.

For questions about Relay North Dakota, contact Philippe "Philip" Gallant, Senior Account Manager, 1-800-377-1190 (TTY), 1-866-410-5787 Ext. 73013 (voice) or email .

About Sprint

Sprint is a global integrated communications provider serving more than 26 million customers in over 100 countries. With approximately 65,000 employees worldwide and over $26 billion in annual revenues in 2003, 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 .

Source: Sprint

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