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September 2, 2004

State of California Selects Sprint to Provide Relay Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

From: Sprint - Sept 2, 2004

Media Contact:
Stephanie Taliaferro, 913-794-3658

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — September 02, 2004

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has awarded Sprint (NYSE: FON) a three-year (plus options), multimillion dollar Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) contract to provide assistive communications services to individuals within the state who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have a speech disability. Through this contract, Sprint will be one of three telecommunications companies to provide TRS to California citizens beginning in December 2004. Sprint was awarded approximately half of the state's relay call center services, as well as 100 percent of the state's relay network transport services (which is approximately 3 million minutes each month).

California Relay Services (CRS), including Sprint relay services, will be accessible throughout California by dialing 711 or one of several toll-free numbers. Sprint Relay(SM) allows Californians 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 also is working with Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD) to open a relay service center in Lemoore, Calif., which will be dedicated to support Sprint relay traffic in California. The center will employ 250 to 300 individuals who will serve as communication assistants, the intermediary for communications between a deaf user and a hearing party. The center will open in December 2004.

"The California Public Utilities Commission is very pleased that through our program, Sprint and CSD will establish a relay center in Lemoore," said Jack Leutza, CPUC Telecommunications Director. "This is good news for our deaf, hard of hearing, speech-disabled and other telecommunications relay users, as well as for all telecommunications customers and the State's economy."

"California citizens who are deaf and hard of hearing will have new options available to them for enhanced communication with family and friends and for business purposes," said Mike Ligas, region vice president – Sprint Relay. "Additionally, Sprint and CSD are pleased to work together to bring new jobs to Lemoore through the new TRS center that will be dedicated to serving California residents."

Sprint is providing CRS through the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP), a multimillion dollar program administered by the California Public Utilities Commission and funded by surcharge on individual customer bills. Through a competitive process, Sprint was awarded a three-year contract with the opportunity for two one-year extensions.

About Sprint Relay
Sprint provides FCC-compliant relay services for the federal government, 31 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and New Zealand. 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. 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 California Relay, contact Sharaine Rawlinson, Sprint Account Executive, by email at

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

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