On June 18th AT &T announced its partnership with Language Line Services, a an interpretation and translation company, to provide On Demand interpreters to its customers. For now it is only available to federal agencies and businesses that by opening an account, will have access to 170 language interpreters when they so need.
When I started out in interpretation, I researched and applied with Language Line Services and at first t seemed like a great opportunity for a beginner yet as I researched further particularly as I read recommendations (or not) of former employees, to then be totally taken aback by them. However, LLS has become the language service company particularly in phone interpretation, so this partnership goes hand in hand with AT&T. It is a very needed service and I wonder if this partnership will extend to the customers at large. They already serve the larger community in certain sectors, such as medical, insurance and general business but wonder if it would be through the same partnership program. I know several interpreters who work there and would love to see how this has affected them. (Hopefully in their pay scale!).
At the rate of $ 2.99 a minute for the use of the service, and a monthly fee these federal government agencies who have always been the mayor buyers of language services, will use the service for interpretation of unclassified information and have access to the service at the push of a button. With these fees I am sure they will see an increase to their revenue that according to reports, had seen a decrease in several years. I did thoroughly research this company because I believed it was a good start to my interpretation career, but I did step back because it was not in sync with what I wanted or wanted to get out of the experience with them.
Although Language Line Services do target other sectors as in the commercial, medical and insurance fields, this is just another expansion of their services.