Telecom Experts See Delays in Service if Rationing is Implemented

The rationing of toll free numbers could a tighter squeeze on U.S. businesses, already in trouble with a shaky economy. Toll free service is essential for new companies, start-ups and any business trying to get a competitive edge. Insiders are concerned that if the existing available 800 numbers are rationed, some businesses could be doomed.

The severe shortage of 800, 888, 877, and 866 numbers already has the toll free service industry feeling uneasy. Now that rumors are circulating that rationing of numbers is about to begin, experts say anyone who wants to obtain a toll free number had better act now.

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The Toll Free Industries Black Market: Number Hoarding

Under rules established in 1997 by the Federal Communications Commission, toll-free service providers cannot reserve a toll-free number without having an actual toll-free subscriber for whom the number is being reserved. By law, available numbers must be doled out on a first-come, first served basis off the main database maintained by the 800 Service Management System (SMS/800).

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