AT&T Awarded Contract with State of California to Offer Relay Services

Dallas, Texas, February 11, 2010

newsrelease

AT&T* was awarded the majority share of the competitively bid, California traditional Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) contract this week. This California Relay Services 3 contract is the largest in the nation, based on the total number of relay services minutes.

"We are proud of our long history of providing relay services and look forward to serving the deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech challenged community in California," said Susan A. Johnson, senior vice president, AT&T Customer Information Services. “With more than 40,000 AT&T employees living and working in the state, our commitment to the citizens of California is deep,” Johnson said.

The contract, which is expected to begin in June, spans three years with options to extend. The contract award for AT&T covers TTY Relay Service only and does not involve areas such as IP-based or video relay services.

“We are making a significant investment in employee resources and network infrastructure to enable new enhancements and features, in accordance with our vision to connect people with their world, everywhere they live and work,” Johnson said.

“AT&T has committed to a host of enhancements in relay service that citizens of California have been asking for,” said Jonathan Lakritz, manager of the California Public Utilities Commission’s Communications Division, which has oversight of the State of California’s Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program. “We are excited to be working with AT&T in this critical service delivery area,” Lakritz said.

Relay users in California will be able to choose their service provider and will be encouraged to complete a customer profile to establish calling preferences, greetings, select a long distance provider, and more.

AT&T TTY Relay Service, offered since 1987, uses a special device that connects to a standard phone line and includes a keyboard and screen to display messages. It relies on a communication assistant to connect calls to standard voice users.

While not included in this contract, AT&T also offers the following relay services:

  • AT&T IM Relay, offered since 2009, provides a specially-trained relay operator to read AOL AIM® instant messaging service IMs to hearing callers and types IMs which are displayed word-by-word as they are typed — making conversations feel more like calls experienced by hearing customers.
  • AT&T Video Relay Service (VRS), offered since 2003, uses a high speed Internet connection and a web camera or video phone to connect users via a Video Interpreter. This allows users to experience facial expressions and gestures on both ends of the conversation and provides a natural fit for the use of sign language.

For more information on AT&T Relay Services, please visit www.att.com/relay.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

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