NASUCA Criticizes Hike In Interstate Phone Fees

The proposed hike in the interstate telephone contribution that consumers might soon be paying into the Universal Service Fund was recently criticized by the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates. The increase would bring the USF contribution to 12.9% of a users bill, compared with the current 11.4%. Every telephone user in the country pays into the USF already. The monies are used to maintain and subsidize rural telephone service to places where it would otherwise be prohibitively expensive.

The USF is controlled by the Universal Service Administrative Company, and overseen by a joint board consisting of FCC and state-level commissioners.

Read more here.


Despite De-Activations, Supplie sof 800 Numbers Still Diminished

When an 800 number is disconnected, it eventually becomes available on the 800 Service Management System, (SMS/800) database. These retired numbers are in great demand and the competition to secure released numbers is fierce.

Industry insiders are recommending that anyone wishing to obtain a toll free number secure one immediately. Thousands of toll free numbers are registered each day. With a limited number of possibilities, the finite supply is nearly expended. Toll free numbers are assigned by entities called Responsible Organizations, toll free service providers who have access to the SMS/800 database of available numbers.

Read more here.

Much Discussion Over Toll Free Shortages, No Answers

The debate about toll free phone service continues. There has been a lot of discussion about concerns that the supply of available 1-800 numbers is nearly exhausted. There have not been any new toll free numbers introduced in the past nine years and an estimated 8,000 numbers or so are assigned each day. With demand high and supplies low telecommunications leaders are worried that this will create a real economic problem for United States businesses. Others argue that the problem is not too bad, yet. The debate continues.

New .tel Domains Poised to Become Massive Online Phone Book

Rather than merely act as a memorable address for a website, a .tel domain is designed to serve as a repository for contact data. By listing phone numbers, websites, Google keywords, physical addresses and email addresses in their .tel entry, the registry’s operators have it, companies and individuals can make themselves much easier to get hold of.

Read more here.

Experts Fear Toll Free Black Market is Growing

As with any commodity in high demand, a black market for toll free numbers is growing. And we here that regulators are scrambling to control the illegal sales of valuable 800 numbers. With toll free service soaring in popularity while finite supplies of available numbers drop, attempts to illegally buy and sell choice numbers on the black market is increasing.

According to regulations enacted in 1997 by FCC, toll free phone numbers cannot be sold or brokered. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints about price gouging for catchy vanity numbers and popular numeric sequences. The FCC reports that anyone caught attempting to sell or broker an 800 number faces significant fines.

Concern Over Diminishing Supplies of Numbers Continue to Increase

Is concern growing about the diminishing stock of 800 numbers? It appears to be. Higher demand for toll free service, especially in this economy, is depleting stocks of good numbers. Studies show that telephone orders can increase up to 60 percent and word of mouth referrals can rise by 200 percent if a toll free number is advertised. These types of statistics bring in thousands of new toll free subscribers every day. And these subscribers want access to a good supply of available numbers.

How-to Become an Approved Toll Free Resporg

The application process consists of three main steps:

1. Fill out and submit the 10 page Service Establishment Form.
2. Send your deposit to the SMS800 Help Desk. (about $4000)
3. Study for and pass the certification test

You can begin the application process by clicking here

The FCC’s Administration of Toll Free Numbers

The FCC does not play a role in the assignment of new toll free numbers. Instead, they regulate the guidelines under which 1-800 numbers can be used and obtained. For instance, the FCC has declared that the hoarding and warehousing of numbers is prohibited and punishable with severe fines—recently illustrated by a citation for an $11,000 fine each day a California company continued to implement improper toll free practices. Numbers are assigned by toll free carriers (resp. orgs) and phone companies. Subscribers have the option of shopping around for the best quality and the best rates.

Pfizer Establishes Toll Free Number For Unemployed

Pfizer has launched a new toll free number as part of a program to provide people with free prescription drugs for up to a year to people who have lost their jobs and health insurance. To be eligible, people must have lost their job since January 1st and have been on Pfizer drugs for three months or more before that. Patients can call a toll-free number, 866-706-2400, to sign up.

Don’t Hesitate to Establish Toll Free Service

More than two-thirds of the available supply of 800, 888, 877, and 866 numbers are taken and millions of new subscribers are registering every year. Business owners who wait much longer to obtain a number might find themselves out of luck. In a competitive market, a toll free number is a valuable commodity for every business.

Read more here.