Calif. taps Sprint for telecom relay services

Sprint Corp. has won a three-year, multimillion dollar contract from the California Public Utilities Commission for assistive communications services, the company announced this week.

Sprint of Overland Park, Kan., will provide communications services to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have speech impediments.

Sprint is one of three telecommunications companies that will begin providing relay services to California residents in December. The company will handle about half of the state's relay call center services as well as all of the state's relay transport services.

In the relay approach, an operator serves as an intermediary for phone calls between a deaf user and a hearing party. The operator speaks words typed by a deaf user on a text telephone or via the Internet and relays the hearing person's spoken response by typing back to the deaf user.

The company provides relay services for the federal government, 31 states, Puerto Rico and New Zealand.

Sprint is a provider of integrated communications services. The company has about 61,000 employees and annual sales of more than $26 billion.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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