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 KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Sprint (NYSE: FON) and the New Mexico Relay Network will begin providing telephone relay service today to New Mexico residents who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled and to those who want to communicate with them.
 The New Mexico relay service will process calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Sprint, the nation's largest relay service provider, and the New Mexico Relay Network were awarded the contract by New Mexico's General Services Department in support of New Mexico's passing of the Telecommunications Access Act.
 "Sprint has an outstanding record of providing quality relay services to states acrpss the country," said Rebecca Aranda, executive director, New Mexico Relay Network. "In its service for New Mexico, Sprint has teamed with the New Mexico Relay Network to form the New Mexico Relay Association.
 "The New Mexico Relay Network is a non-profit group which has been providing service to New Mexico's deaf and hard of hearing communities for three years. The New Mexico Relay Network is very active in the local deaf community and has an excellent reputation with high consumer confidence. Sprint has brought to the team its broad national experience and many technological advances which greatly improve relay call performance."
 The New Mexico relay service will enable a person with a standard telephone to call or receive a call from someone with a telephone with "text readout," known as a Text Telephone, or a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TT/TDD).
 To use the New Mexico relay service, a customer who is deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired dials 800-659-8331 via their TT/TDD to reach a specially trained communications assistant. The TT/TDD user then types in the name and number of the person they want to call and the communications assistant places the call.
 After the connection is established, the communications assistant views the typed message on a computer terminal, and verbally communicates it to the hearing party. The hearing party listens, then responds to the message. The communications assistant then converts the verbal response into textual form and relays it back through the TT/TDD system.
 Hearing individuals who want to place calls to TT/TDD users can use the New Mexico relay service to communicate by dialing 800-659-1779.
 "Sprint is pleased to begin offering this valuable relay service to all residents of New Mexico," said Dan Evanoff, senior vice president of Sprint's Diversified Brands Group. "Our company prides itself on providing the best service in the industry as well as continuously searching for ways to increase that service."
 There will be no restrictions on the length or number of calls placed through the service. Users will not be billed for calls placed in their local service area, while charges for long distance calls will be billed at a special discounted rate.
 In addition to New Mexico, Sprint provides relay service to residents in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming as well as the federal government.
 Sprint is a diversified international telecommunications company with more than $10 billion in annual revenues and the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network.
 Its divisions provide global long distance voice, data and video products and services, local telephone services to nearly 5.9 million subscriber lines in 19 states, and cellular operations that serve 42 metropolitan markets and more than 50 rural service areas.
 -0- 7/26/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Dykes, 202-828-7435 or, after hours, 703-242-1769, or Angela Peacock, 202-828-7415 or, after hours, 301-865-3766, both of Sprint/

CO: Sprint; New Mexico's General Services Department ST: New Mexico IN: TLS SU: PDT

IH-DC -- DC014 -- 5710 07/26/93 13:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 26, 1993

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