Verizon Introduces New Spanish-Language IP-Relay Web Site for Individuals With Hearing and Speech Disabilities

NEW YORK -- Verizon kicks off a new era in service for Spanish-speaking customers who have hearing or speech disabilities.  The company is launching a new Web site to make available in Spanish the Internet-based relay service that all customers with hearing or speech disabilities use to contact friends, family and business associates.

The new site, www.ip-relay.com/sp/, also provides access in Spanish to all of Verizon's Web-based calling products and services, making it more accessible than ever before for Spanish-speaking customers and complementing the company's nationwide in-language customer support.

"For years we've provided relay service for our Spanish-speaking customers," said Sandy O'Brien, executive director of Verizon LiveSource, "and it made sense to create a Web site in-language so our customers can learn about other options to communicate."

Verizon's IP-RELAY.com service is a communications technology that allows the caller to make calls using any Web-enabled computer. By visiting www.ip-relay.com/sp/, customers can easily and quickly connect to a professional operator who will connect the call and act as the medium to speak or type the caller's message to the person being called. Customers do not need to have a TTY, nor are they required to download any special software. 

Verizon's IP-RELAY also offers the following services in Spanish:

  • My IP Relay: Allows users to make ongoing relay calls through instant messaging service via AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) or MSN Messenger. This service can be used on any PC or wireless device installed with AIM or MSN Messenger.

  • My IP Relay Number: Allows users to receive calls on their wireless devices through a relay operator. By registering for this service, a user will be assigned a phone number that will allow voice callers to call the user's wireless device or whenever the user is logged on AOL Instant Messenger or MSN Messenger Service.

  • Wireless IP-Relay: Allows users the freedom to communicate on the go by installing IP-RELAY software to their Hiptop, BlackBerry or T-Mobile Sidekick. This text-to-voice relay services is offered through specially coded Java scripts.  

IP-Relay is a free service subsidized by the federal government. Calls can only be made in the United States. Verizon is continually designing and adding new features and communications options to its suite of IP-RELAY.com features to improve the users' relay experience. IP-Relay is available to all Web-connected relay users at www.ip-relay.com/sp/ or www.IP-RELAY.com.

Verizon offers a number of high-speed Internet plans that offer excellent value for consumers and business customers, with maximum connection speeds ranging from up to 768 Kbps/128 Kbps (kilobits per second to up to 7.1 Mbps (megabits per second)/768 Kbps.  For more information on Verizon High Speed Internet, visit www.verizon.com.

Since 1999, Verizon has been the industry leader in developing alternate communications technologies.  That year, a Verizon predecessor company, MCI, introduced www.IP-Relay.com and began taking the very first IP-Relay calls.  The company offered the service free of charge, even though there was no government subsidy at the time.  In 2001, Verizon formally launched www.IP-Relay.com and in 2002, the Federal Communications Commission authorized reimbursement of IP-Relay calls through the National Exchange Carrier Assn. 

In recognition of its efforts in creating IP-RELAY.com, Verizon was awarded the Robert H. Weitbrecht Award by TDI (Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc.) in 2003.  Today, Verizon remains the industry leader in relay innovation.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 60.7 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.