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September 30, 2004

Sprint Continues to Provide Relay Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in North Carolina

From: Sprint - Sep 30, 2004

Media Contact:
Stephanie Taliaferro, 913-794-3658                                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sprint Continues to Provide Relay Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in North Carolina

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Sept. 30, 2004 – Building on a four-year relationship, Sprint (NYSE: FON) will continue to provide Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) in North Carolina until 2008. Through this contract, Sprint provides TRS to state customers and is offering new services, Sprint Relay Online and Sprint Video Relay. Sprint also is providing the latest technology innovations for relay services, Relay Conference Captioning and CapTelSM Relay Service.

"The Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing is pleased that Sprint has again been awarded the Telecommunications Relay Service contract with the state of North Carolina," said Linda Harrington, Director of the Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. "We are looking forward to four more years of teamwork and great customer service."

North Carolina Relay Conference Captioning ( 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.

CapTel Relay Service allows people to receive both voice and text captioning, nearly simultaneously, via a special, CapTel-equipped phone using a standard telephone line. 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 other party's voice.

"We're delighted to continue our successful relationship with North Carolina to provide their citizens with innovative relay services," said Mike Ligas, region vice president – Sprint Relay. "Sprint has a strong commitment with 14 years of experience in providing relay services to enhance communications for citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have a speech disability across the country."

Sprint TRS is accessible throughout North Carolina by dialing 711 or one of several toll-free numbers. Sprint TRS allows North Carolina 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.

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, powered by Communications Services for the Deaf (CSD) is also available for North Carolina residents ( and is a free service through the Internet that enables the deaf or hard of hearing user to communicate in American Sign Language to a hearing caller. Sprint and CSD launched the first nationwide Video Relay Service (VRS) in May 2002. VRS requires users to have a personal computer or television monitor, a Web camera or videophone, and high-speed Internet connectivity such as cable or DSL.

For questions about North Carolina Relay, contact Kevin Earp, Sprint Account Executive, at 919-713-2383 Voice or 919-875-1242 TTY or by email

About Sprint Relay
Sprint has 14 years of experience in providing relay services to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or who have a speech disability to communicate with hearing persons on the phone. Sprint offers relay services through an intelligent platform to the federal government, 31 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and New Zealand. Sprint's experience in the field provides the assurance that all Sprint Relay services will meet or exceed Federal Communications Commission requirements for telecommunications relay services. 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 more information, visit

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.

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