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

Choose A Toll Free Provider Wisely

According to regulations enacted in 1997 by the Federal Communications Commission, toll free phone numbers cannot be sold. These rules were approved after complaints poured in 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. You can obtain a toll free number from an actual provider but you still want to be careful – many websites nowadays are fly-by-night. You want to make sure the company you choose has been around for while and doesn’t sound like they’re doing business from their kitchen table – A woman recorded her call to a supposed toll free company and the guy on the other end sounded like he was in the bathroom eating a sandwich. Get more info here.

The Rise of 877’s

Supplies of 800 numbers are decreasing while demand is growing. According to the Federal Communications Commissions, toll free service is a valuable commodity for businesses and popularity is consistently on the rise. The availability of toll free numbers is plummeting yet there are no immediate plans by the FCC to overcome the shortage by launching the reserved 855 numbers. Get more information here.

855 A Success. Now, We Wait For 844 Numbers.

The new 855 toll free phone numbers are already a big success. Next, we look to the release of the 844 numbers. These should be released within the next 12-18 months, further addressing the shortage of the toll free number supply. With drafting of the release schedule already in place, these newest toll free supplies will be welcomed by millions of subscribers and consumers.

FCC Fines Man For Attempting To Sell 800 Number

The owner of a valuable 800 toll free number who attempted to illegally sell the number to an undercover agent faces stiff fines according to regulations set by the Federal Communications Commission.

By law, phone numbers cannot be sold or brokered. In 1997, the FCC made the sale of 800 numbers illegal. Because of the short supply of available numbers, complaints were pouring in at that time that price gouging for the popular numbers was becoming a common practice. The FCC acted quickly, prohibiting sales.

Read more here.

How-to Become a T.A.C. 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

Brokers Face Big Fines

In an unstable economy, small businesses need reliable marketing tools to increase the flow of new and repeat business and compete with bigger, sustained companies. Toll free numbers instantly win customer confidence and give new businesses the jumpstart they need to grow into sustained companies.

Advisors say the best way to obtain a toll free number before supply runs out is to use a legal, reliable toll free service provider that has access to the database of available numbers.

Read more here.