Sprint Selected as State of Rhode Island’s Telecommunication Relay Service Provider

Overland Park, Kansas | Press Releases

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – December 2, 2016 – Sprint (NYSE: S) will become the new Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) provider for the State of Rhode Island effective December 1. The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RI PUC) selected Sprint to provide TRS, Captioned Telephone (CapTel), and Relay Conference Captioning Service for its Rhode Island Relay program serving individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have a speech disability. Sprint has a 26-year history in the Relay industry as the nation’s largest TRS provider. 
“We are excited to be working with the Rhode Island PUC team to serve the State’s residents,” said Mike Ellis, Sprint’s Global Vice President of Accessibility. “We know firsthand the life-changing benefits of our service, and we look forward to informing the community about the variety of services available to accommodate their needs to help them stay connected.”
Rhode Island Relay is accessed by dialing 711, and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is a “relay” or service that enables those who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, and speech disabled to communicate with traditional telephone users through a specialized text telephone and third party operator called a communications assistant. All calls are completely confidential.
“Sprint has an excellent reputation for providing reliable service and I am confident that Sprint’s Relay services are of the utmost quality, and will provide the best communication access to those in our state that need support in telecommunication,” said Sharon Colby Camara, Rhode Island TRS Contract Administrator.
While the use of traditional relay services has declined due to advanced technologies, the use of captioned telephones (CapTel) and Relay Conference Captioning (RCC) for those who are hard of hearing continues to increase. Traditional relay, CapTel and RCC are all administered by the RI PUC.
RCC is a free service for anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing to engage in meetings (in-person or remote), group conversations in a videoconference and multi-party conference call. Using the same high-quality captioners that produce closed captioning for television, RCC users receive real-time text streamed to any computer connected to the Internet.
In addition to providing relay services, Sprint will actively engage in outreach and education throughout Rhode Island with the goal of increasing awareness for the 711 Relay service, as well as the equipment distribution program.
For more information, visit the new Rhode Island Relay website (www.rhodeislandrelay.com) or call 1-866-703-5485.
About Rhode Island PUC:
The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RI PUC) serves the public interest by effectively regulating utilities and facilities so that the people of Rhode Island receive safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced services consistent with the economic, environmental and social values of the state.
About Sprint:
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 60.2 million connections as of Sept. 30, 2016 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.