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July 22, 2004

GSA Continues to Rely on Sprint for Relay Service to Federal Employees

From: PR Newswire (press release) - Jul 22, 2004

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., and HERNDON, Va., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Sprint (NYSE: FON) was awarded the Federal Relay contract by the U.S. General Services Administration's (GSA) Federal Technology Service for the third consecutive time. GSA is the first customer to purchase a comprehensive portfolio of relay services for those who are deaf and hard-of-hearing from Sprint. Sprint has provided Federal Relay since 1993 and will continue to for another two years, with three additional one-year options, through this new multimillion dollar contract. (Logo: )

"Sprint is excited to continue providing critical telecommunication relay services to federal employees across the country who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or who have speech disabilities," said Mike Ligas, region vice president - Sprint Relay. "The government has witnessed first hand our 14 years of success in providing innovative services so this community has options for communicating more effectively for personal and professional purposes."

Sprint's portfolio of relay services provides federal government employees who are deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-disabled with a variety of communication tools to help make their jobs easier. For example, Federal Relay allows communication with hearing persons on the phone through traditional relay services, which involves a relay operator serving as an intermediary for phone calls between a deaf user and a hearing party. The relay 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.

This contract introduces new communication tools through Sprint for federal employees, including Federal Video Relay Service (FEDVRS), Federal Relay Conference Captioning (RCC), Federal CapTel(SM) (captioned telephone) Relay Service and Federal Relay Service Online (FRSO). In fact, Sprint launched the first video relay product specifically designed for federal employees at . FEDVRS enables the deaf user to communicate in Sign Language via a Web camera or videophone instead of typing. Video Relay Service requires users to have a personal computer or television monitor, a Web camera or videophone, and high-speed Internet connectivity such as cable, DSL or LAN. FEDVRS is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday, and will support American Sign Language and Spanish.

Federal CapTel Relay Service, which is fully FCC-compliant, is now available for federal employees (active, retired and veterans). CapTel allows people to receive both voice and text captioning, nearly simultaneously, via a special CapTel-equipped phone. The CapTel phone works like any traditional phone with callers talking and listening to each other, but with one very significant difference -- captions are provided live for every call. The captions are displayed on the CapTel phone's built-in screen so the user can read the words while listening to the voice of the other party. CapTel is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Sprint is working with the GSA to provide up to fifty (50) free CapTel(TM) phones every month for federal government employees (civilian and military), federal retirees and veterans. For further information on Federal CapTel or to obtain a free Federal CapTel phone, qualified federal employees/retirees or veterans need to complete and submit an application form at .

Federal RCC, the newest offering in Sprint's portfolio, is also now available for deaf and hard-of-hearing federal employees. This service uses the same high-quality stenocaptioners that provide closed captioning for live television to deliver live text streamed to an Internet-connected computer, with or without a high-speed Internet connection. Federal RCC ( ) is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday.

Federal Relay Service Online ( ) combines telecommunications relay services 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.

Additional information about Sprint Federal Relay is accessible at . Sprint Federal Relay is available by dialing one of several toll-free numbers, as listed on .

For questions about Federal Relay, contact Randy Murbach, Contract Manager, by email at or Karl Ewan, Agency Liaison, 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. Sprint began providing relay services in 1990 and is one of the leading employers of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the industry. The "Sprint Relay" team is comprised of individuals who are daily users of the service, and have greatly influenced the development and quality of Sprint's products and services. Sprint also provides telecommunications relay services for 32 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and New Zealand. For more information, please visit .

About Sprint
Sprint is a global integrated communications provider serving more than 26 million customers in over 100 countries. With approximately 63,000 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 .

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