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NEWS RELEASE


05/04/2010 Contact: 850-413-6482

Florida Public Service Commission Approves Budget for Florida Relay Service


TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved the Florida Relay Service (FRS) 2010-2011 budget, with no change in the 11-cent monthly surcharge paid by Florida telephone customers.  FRS provides access to basic telecommunications services for more than 3 million Florida citizens who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf/blind, or speech-impaired.

“FRS provides critical communications services to residents who cannot otherwise benefit from telephone service,” said PSC Chairman Nancy Argenziano.  “The program gives everyone the ability to use the public telephone network and connect with the community.”

FTRI, a non-profit corporation, administers the statewide FRS system.  Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, FRS facilitates telephone calls between people with hearing loss or speech disabilities and other individuals by using special equipment and a communications assistance operator to relay information.

One method used is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, which includes a keyboard and screen to contact a communications assistant, who then voices the message to the receiving party.  The reverse process completes the message.  An FRS call may be initiated by a person with or without hearing loss or speech impairment.

For information on how to obtain the special equipment, call FTRI at 1-800-222-3448 (Voice) or 1-888-447-5620 (Text Telephone/TTY) or visit http://www.ftri.org.

The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.

For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.



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