Heat Advisories and Toll Free

With 32 states under a heat advisory this week, 1-800 service to authorities, utility companies and cooling centers have never been busier. People are calling toll free phone numbers for information on beating the heat, to report power outages, seeking cooling centers and assistance for the elderly and sick who are suffering in the 100 degree-plus temperatures. Toll free telephone numbers have even been established for animal care–pets to livestock to wild animals are all feeling the effects of the heat.


Unprecedented Growth in Telecommunications

The growth in telecommunications in the past decade is unprecedented in so many capacities. One can only imagine what new innovations will occur in the upcoming decade. And during all this change and growth, toll free phone service has remained a staple of all types of businesses. We see toll free numbers growing and expanding in use every day.  Toll free service will continue to remain a constant in all the growth swirling around the telecommunications industry.

What is FCC 00-237?

FCC 00-237

We look to our Federal Advisory Committee on numbering issues, the NANC, for a recommendation on how best to administer toll free numbers. We ask the NANC to address whether a system of administration similar to that used to administer the NANP or a different system should be established. Among the alternatives NANC should consider is whether the ownership and operation of the centralized toll free database system should be transferred to a non-government and/or non-carrier entity, and whether SMS/800 service should continue to be provided under tariff. Additionally, we seek recommendations from the NANC to facilitate the selection of the administrator through a competitive bidding process similar to the process used to select the North American Numbering Plan Administrator.[1] Specifically, we ask the NANC to develop the necessary technical requirements for toll free number administration. We direct the NANC to submit its recommendations to the Commission within 180 days of the effective date of this Order. Upon receipt of the NANC’s recommendations and public comment, we will move expeditiously to determine whether it is in the public interest to restructure the ownership and operation of the current system of toll free number administration, and, if so, whether a new toll free number administrator should be selected.[2]

Toll Free Administration
Management and Oversight Structure

* Break Up the SMT
* Owner/Operators cannot be affiliated with the Administration, Data Center or SCP
* Need Neutral 3rd party Toll Free Administrator, Data Center and SCP

Toll Free Administration
Management and Oversight Structure

Propose that the current SMT be replaced with a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) similar to what exists for LNP.

The LLC would be open to any entity that provides toll free service.

LLC members will have equal vote

LLC manages the RFP for toll free vendor(s)

LLC manages vendor performance and costs

LLC manages the day-to-day relationship with the vendor

Each member pays a fee to join the LLC to cover the operational costs of the LLC

The FCC has ultimate oversight over the LLC and toll free administration.

Toll Free LLC

Responsible for
+ System planning (both long and short term)
+ Database functional requirements
+ Negotiating vendor contracts
+ Ensuring vendor compliance

Toll Free Pricing

* Toll Free Service no longer provided under SMS/800 Access Tariff
* Simplified pricing elements such as:
o Shared industry costs per Section 251(e) of the Telecommunications Act
o Monthly fee for RespOrg system access
o Enterprise Services

Toll Frees Get Sticky

Following the emergence of a black market for valuable toll free numbers, including catchy vanity numbers, sources say federal authorities are cracking down on the illegal sales of 800 numbers.
Learn more information to protect yourself here.

Toll Free Seller: Busted!

Yes, you can get in trouble for trying to sell a toll free number – who knew? One person actually tried to auction off a toll free on the popular website Ebay…
Ouch! Read more in this guy here.

Fast Paced Toll Free

Check this out: Toll free service has increased at such a fast pace that the supply of available 1-800 numbers is at an all-time low. According to the Federal Communications Commission 1-800, 888, 877 and 866 numbers are increasingly popular for businesses and for personal use. With no plans for the addition of new numbers, the existing supply is quickly depleting.
Get some useful information here.

Family Ties Up Toll Frees

Small business owners, following the lead of the CEO’s of nearly half the Fortune 500 companies, are securing toll free vanity phone numbers as a strategic marketing tool. Personal use of toll free numbers has skyrocketed as parents secure an 800 number to stay in touch with their teens, college-aged children, and elderly parents. Continue reading here.

Personal Toll Free Use

Personal use of toll free phone service has skyrocketed in the past five years. Adults are now routinely providing elderly parents on a fixed income with an 800 number. Parents are hooking their kids up with toll free service so they can keep in constant communication. And experts say this trend is not a passing fancy. Toll free service for personal use is here to stay. Get more on this story here.

Federal Toll Free Rationing

The stock of available toll free numbers is now so depleted that insiders say government agencies may implement another rationing of the 800, 888, 877, and 866 pre-fixes within months. Rumors of a rationing program have subscribers scrambling to obtain numbers, creating an even more limited supply.

Read more here.

Is Toll Free Service Still Available?

Heeding recent warnings about the rapid decline of 800 numbers, subscribers are applying for toll free service at record rates. A steady stream of requests are pouring in for toll free 800, 888, 877, and 866 numbers and applications are expected to continue to rise this year. Read more now.