For the second, consecutive fiscal year, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) reduced the monthly Florida Relay System (FRS) surcharge for telephone customers by one cent. Applied to landline customer bills, the reduced surcharge–from its current 11 cents to 10 cents–takes effect on September 1, 2017.
Today, the PSC also reduced Florida Telecommunications Relay Inc.’s (FTRI) proposed budget by more than $115,000, adjusting its legal and Regional Distribution Center expenses. The Commission ordered FTRI to supply further budget analyses on its legal billing and employee benefit expenses, with the results due by January 31, 2018.
“FRS provides a vital service to keep Florida’s deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-impaired consumers connected to family, friends, and businesses,” said PSC Chairman Julie Brown. “Today’s budget reductions reflect customers’ continuing transition from landline to other technologies, but keeps FTRI well positioned to maintain reliable services for those depending on them.”
Florida law requires the PSC to approve an annual FTRI budget. FTRI administers the statewide FRS that provides access to basic telecommunications services for more than 2.5 million Florida citizens who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-impaired. Sprint Communications Company, L.P., is the current FRS provider.
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 specialized equipment and a communications assistance operator to relay information.
FTRI is a non-profit organization which contracts with 24 Florida regional distribution centers to assist consumers with specialized phone needs. 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 www.ftri.org.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.