Toll Free Under The Christmas Tree

We have been hearing about a recent trend in holiday gift-giving this year. A few toll free phone service providers have reported back to us that some people have purchased toll free numbers for a friend or family member as a holiday gift. The gift of a toll free numbers helps a struggling business person and is a gift that lasts the entire year long.
In one instance the mother of seven grown children, scattered throughout the U.S. (and four of whom have lost their jobs in the past year) will be given a toll free number for the holidays by her husband so that her children can call her as often as they want without fear of costly phone bills. Hearing her children’s voices means much more to her than an impersonal e-mail. Toll free keeps finding new ways to make a difference in people’s lives!

Special Advisory – Decline of Available Toll Free Numbers Continues To Cause Alarm

Reports Cite Several Contributing Risk Factors

On the heels of numerous warnings about the alarming decline in the number of available toll free numbers, SMSGOV.com has now reported that toll service providers’ collective revenue decreased by six billion dollars according to a monitoring report released by the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service.

The report, filed with the FCC, is elevating concerns within an industry already worried about a potential meltdown. The popularity of the finite amount of toll free numbers, coupled with the failure of the FCC to release new numbers, has created a deficit of availability that is raising red flags throughout the telecommunications world.

Last week, a member of the Tollfree Advisory Committee at SMSGOV.com acknowledged that the scarcity is causing a surge of subscribers scurrying to obtain the available toll free numbers. If supplies deplete much further, small businesses nationwide could see disastrous economic fallout. Toll free numbers are known as an effective marking strategy that increases customer base and boosts revenue.

The Toll-Free Ration Bill

Read more about the potential phone embargo

Also causing alarm are the recent reports of increased incidents of illegal hoarding of toll free numbers. The FCC has been clamping down on violations of Section 251 (e) of the Communications Act of 1934, which prohibits the warehousing and hoarding of numbers. To ensure that toll free numbers are distributed in a fair and equitable way, the FCC is taking a close look at suspect activity. Last spring, they cited a potential $11,000 daily fine to the owners of a California company for improper toll free practices. This followed a string of unrelated instances, including at least one owner’s attempt to sell his numbers on eBay.

More on Toll Free Laws

More information on Hoarding

Read about the eBay seller caught auctioning his number

For additional information, go to SMSGOV.com.

Telecom Insiders Warm of Possible Embargo

Telecommunications industry sources now say an unthinkable embargo on new toll free phone service in the United States is a real possibility within the next year. Facing a severe shortage of available 800-numbers, a skyrocketing demand for toll free service and an emerging black market for 800 numbers, insiders say officials feel they are left with no choice but to impose an embargo.

Read more here.