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October 19, 2005

Hamilton Awarded Relay Service Agreement for Georgia

From: Hamilton Relay - Oct 19, 2005

For Immediate Release

Contact: Beth Slough, 402-694-3656 v/TTY
Communications Coordinator
Hamilton Relay, Inc.
Hamilton Awarded Relay Service Agreement for Georgia

Aurora, Nebraska– October 19, 2005. As the result of a competitive bidding process, Hamilton Telephone Company d/b/a Hamilton Telecommunications will begin operating the Georgia Telecommunications Relay Service on April 1, 2006.

"Hamilton is extremely pleased to have this opportunity to provide service to the relay users in Georgia," says Dixie Ziegler, Vice President of Hamilton Relay. "Ensuring effective telephone communication between people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled and standard phone users is of paramount importance to Hamilton. We will work closely with the current provider to ensure a seamless transition with no disruption in service."

Telecommunications Relay Service is a valuable communications tool that allows Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Speech Disabled people to use the telephone to communicate with standard telephone users. Individuals with hearing or speech difficulties use a Text Telephone (TTY) or other assistive telecommunications device to call a telecommunications relay center. A Communications Assistant answers the call and then places another call to the telephone number the person wishes to reach. The Communications Assistant then translates and relays conversations confidentially by converting voice information to typed communication and reading aloud typed messages to hearing persons. Standard phone users can also initiate a call through the relay.

Georgia Relay Service is available to all businesses and residents in Georgia. The service is available 24 hours a day, every day. There are no charges to call the relay or to place local calls; however, long distance charges apply when placing long distance calls. Anyone can access the relay by dialing 711 or via toll-free numbers (1-800-255-0056 for text telephone users and 1-800-255-0135 for conventional phone users). Beginning April 1, 2006, several new Georgia Relay telephone numbers will be available - toll-free access numbers that are dedicated to specialty call types such as Spanish and Speech to Speech and a new customer service number. Georgia Relay users will dial 1-888-202-3972 for Spanish, 1-888-202-4082 for STS and 1-866-694-5824 for customer service.

Everyday millions of deaf, hard of hearing and speech disabled people use relay to place phone calls. Although relay originated over 15 years ago, today there are still many people who are not aware of the relay or do not understand how relay works. Many people mistake relay calls for telemarketing calls and, as a result, hang up when they receive relay calls. "The most effective way to eliminate the hang ups that many relay users experience is to increase public awareness of relay," says Ziegler.

"Hamilton is very active within the communities that we serve. We focus on customizing our relay and outreach services to meet each individual relay user's needs. We intend to gather feedback from the Georgia relay user community as well as those organizations and associations that serve relay users to find how we can best serve Georgia relay users," adds Ziegler.

For more information, individuals can go to the Commission's website, and the Georgia Relay Website,

About Hamilton
Hamilton offers a variety of features and services to further enhance relay communication including Internet Relay, Video Relay, Wireless Relay and CapTel. All services are available at Hamilton also provides traditional relay services to nine states, the District of Columbia, the Island of Saipan and the Virgin Islands. Established in 1901, Hamilton also provides local telephone and cable television service, call center services, Internet services, computer sales, network integration and much more to customers in Nebraska and across the country.