FCC Maintains Oversight

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.

Despite De-Activations, Supplies of 800 Numbers Still Extremely Low

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.

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