1-800 Number Supplies Remain Low.

There has been a lot of discussion about concerns that the supply of available 1-800 numbers is nearly exhausted. Indeed, there have not been any new toll free numbers introduced in the past eight years. And it is estimated that each day more than 8,000 numbers are assigned to a new toll free subscriber.

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Toll Free Black Market?

According to regulations enacted in the 1990s by the Federal Communications Commission, toll free phone numbers cannot be sold or brokered. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints 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. Still, the black market continues.

Read more here.

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The History of 1-800 Numbers

1-800 numbers were started in 1967 by AT&T as an alternative to collect calls. Until 1984, AT&T had complete control over all toll free numbers. But when the phone monopoly broke apart, toll free service came under the oversight of the Federal Communications Commission.

Read more here..

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The FCC and Toll Free Phone Numbers

Aside from regulating the use of toll free numbers and establishing rules on how they can be obtained and used, the FCC is the entity that reserves and launches new pre-fixes to beef up the supply of available toll free numbers. The amount of toll free numbers has been shrinking in recent years and all industry insiders are eagerly awaiting the release of the reserved 855 numbers. However, this may not happen for several years.

Read more here.

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What is the Toll Free Black Market?

According to regulations enacted in the 1990s by the Federal Communications Commission, toll free phone numbers cannot be sold or brokered. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints 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. Still, the black market continues.

Read more here.

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The FCC Governs Toll Free Numbers

Aside from regulating the use of toll free numbers and establishing rules on how they can be obtained and used, the FCC is the entity that reserves and launches new pre-fixes to beef up the supply of available toll free numbers. The amount of toll free numbers has been shrinking in recent years and all industry insiders are eagerly awaiting the release of the reserved 855 numbers. However, this may not happen for several years.

Read more here.

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The FCCs Relation to Toll Free Numbers

Aside from regulating the use of toll free numbers and establishing rules on how they can be obtained and used, the FCC is the entity that reserves and launches new pre-fixes to beef up the supply of available toll free numbers. The amount of toll free numbers has been shrinking in recent years and all industry insiders are eagerly awaiting the release of the reserved 855 numbers. However, this may not happen for several years.

Read more here.

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How Many Toll Free Combinations Are There?

Toll free phone service has steadily grown in popularity over the past few decades. It seems every company—from corporations selling luxury items to web businesses selling one item—have their own toll free phone number.

News reports have warned that with the popularity of 1-800 numbers soaring, while supplies remain limited, the amount of available toll free numbers is dwindling. The FCC has reserved toll free area codes to address a shortage.

So, just how many toll free numbers are there?

The four area codes currently available —800, 888, 877 & 866–total 31,000,000 toll free numbers. Each area code has 7.7 million potential combinations. (some combinations within each area code group are blocked from use by the FCC) It is estimated that 19 million (or 65%) of all available toll free numbers are currently registered.

The specific breakdown is as follows:

6.5 million 1-800 numbers
5 million 888 phone numbers
4.9 million 877 numbers
3.1 million 866 numbers

The 800 numbers, the first and most popular of the four area codes, are sometimes difficult to obtain. Many combinations are already being used-and the numbers are so effective it is rare that they are returned into the system. The newest area code, 866, still has many numbers remaining.

When the FCC releases the new 855, 844, 833 and 822 phone numbers, subscribers will rush to obtain what are considered the “best” numbers. These numbers cannot be guaranteed to any specific subscriber prior to their release.

To learn more about how to be prepared to obtain a new toll free phone number, go to Tollfreenumber.ORG.

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1-800 Number Supplies Remain Low.

There has been a lot of discussion about concerns that the supply of available 1-800 numbers is nearly exhausted. Indeed, there have not been any new toll free numbers introduced in the past eight years. And it is estimated that each day more than 8,000 numbers are assigned to a new toll free subscriber.

With demand high, supplies low, and the new toll free phone numbers remaining in reserve, telecommunications leaders are worried that this will create a real economic problem for United States businesses-especially for new companies.

Toll free numbers enable callers to reach businesses, organizations, and non-profits without having to pay for the call. This marketing tool has been so successful that the available 800, 888, 877, and 866 numbers are decreasing while demand is growing at unprecedented rates. In fact, Tollfreenumber.ORG, one of the leading toll free service providers, reports that 2007 was one of the busiest years ever for new toll free service. And so far in 2008, the valuable 1-800 numbers are even more in demand.

The popularity of the 1-800 number, launched in 1967, led the Federal Communications Commission to add the new pre-fixes 888 and 877 in the mid-1990s. When availability of those numbers plummeted, 866 was added in 2000 to overcome the shortage.

It appears there are no immediate plans by the FCC to release the reserved 855, 844, 833, and 822 pre-fixes. Still, the government agency acknowledges on its website how toll free phone service has increased drastically in recent years. According to the FCC website, toll free numbers are becoming increasingly popular for business and personal use.

The best way to obtain a toll free number before the supply runs dry is to contact a reliable toll free service provider that has access to a large pool of available numbers. Tollfreenumber.ORG can assist subscribers in finding a quality toll free number at a very low cost. Tollfreenumber.ORG can get their clients the newly released phone numbers as soon as they become available.

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Hoarding Toll Free Phone Numbers.

The distribution of toll phone free numbers is highly regulated to ensure that anyone who wants a 1-800 number can get one in a fair and economical way through a legitimate service provider like Tollfreenumber.ORG. Hoarding batches of the toll free phone numbers is illegal.

Under rules established in 1997 by the Federal Communications Commission, available numbers must be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Available numbers are stored on a database maintained by the 800 Service Management System (SMS/800).

A subscriber may not acquire more toll free numbers than they intend to use. By FCC definition, “hoarding” also includes “brokering” –the illegal lease or sale of toll free numbers for a fee.

The FCC began investigating hoarding of 800 numbers as far back as 1995, but despite the subsequent release of 888, 877, and 866 pre-fixes, the practice continues to grow. The FCC has the 855 pre-fix numbers reserved to alleviate the shortage but has not yet announced plans to release those numbers.

Concern about the diminishing stock of 800 numbers is creating an even higher demand for toll free service, a marketing tool that the FCC says is “proven” to increase business. Studies show that telephone orders can increase up to 60% and word of mouth referrals can rise by 200% if a toll free number is advertised.

If the FCC discovers illegal hoarding, they immediately send out suspension letters to the owner of the numbers. Additionally, the brokering of toll free numbers can result in hefty fines.

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Toll Free Black Market?

It happens with most high demand products—a black market begins. Supply drops, demand increases, and people start breaking the rules in order to make high-priced sales.

In recent years, we have seen a black market for premium toll free numbers develop in the United States. Despite regulations prohibiting the sale and hoarding of 1-800 numbers, these valuable phone numbers are being sold on the Internet and elsewhere.

Toll free phone numbers have never been more popular. Meanwhile, supplies of available numbers are dropping (reports indicate that less than one-third of numbers remain available) and attempts to illegally buy and sell choice numbers are becoming more commonplace.

According to regulations enacted in the 1990s by the Federal Communications Commission, toll free phone numbers cannot be sold or brokered. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints 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. Still, the black market continues.

Of course, anyone obtaining a number through these means are putting themselves at risk of getting caught up in a sting or even losing the number if there is a crackdown. It’s best to contact a legal, reliable provider like Tollfreenumber.ORG—which has one of the largest selections of legal numbers—and secure a 1-800 number that works for your company image.

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The History of 1-800 Numbers

1-800 numbers were started in 1967 by AT&T as an alternative to collect calls. Until 1984, AT&T had complete control over all toll free numbers. But when the phone monopoly broke apart, toll free service came under the oversight of the Federal Communications Commission.

In 1991, the FCC required that toll-free numbers be portable, meaning that a toll free subscriber can “port” his or her number to a new provider. Subscribers were no longer locked into their providers.

As interest in toll free service grew, the available supply of 800 numbers became more and more scarce. To address the anticipated shortage, the FCC introduced the 888 and 877 numbers in the mid-1990s and then the 866 pre-fix in 2000.

Available stock of toll free numbers is quickly depleting and industry insiders are awaiting the release of the 855 and 844 numbers currently reserved by the FCC. These numbers, however, may not be released for several years.

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

The SMS/800 Data Center was created to maintain the database of available toll free phone numbers. SMS/800 updates the database and records of the owners of each number.

More and more owners of small businesses are returning to traditional marketing methods once available only to large national companies. Even a start-up business located in a home can present the image of an established, larger company by including a toll free phone number in advertising. It’s good that the toll free industry has progressed so that 1-800 numbers are now available, and affordable, for anyone who wants one.

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The FCC and Toll Free Phone Numbers

There are a lot of questions floating around these days about the role of the Federal Communications Commission in the toll free phone service industry. The FCC’s responsibilities are really pretty basic. Here is the lowdown:

Aside from regulating the use of toll free numbers and establishing rules on how they can be obtained and used, the FCC is the entity that reserves and launches new pre-fixes to beef up the supply of available toll free numbers. The amount of toll free numbers has been shrinking in recent years and all industry insiders are eagerly awaiting the release of the reserved 855 numbers. However, this may not happen for several years.

Started in 1967 by AT&T, 800 numbers came under the oversight of the FCC in the mid-1980s after the phone service monopoly disintegrated. When the popular 800 numbers became scarce, the FCC introduced the 888 and 877 numbers in the mid-1990s and the 866 pre-fix in 2000.

To make sure everyone has an equal shot at obtaining a 1-800 number, the FCC’s rules prohibit “warehousing” and “hoarding” of toll-free numbers. The Commission can impose hefty fines and can intervene if they find a number is being used in a manner contrary to the established regulations.

However, the FCC does not oversee the assignment of toll free numbers and does not have direct access to the toll free number database maintained by the 800 Services Management System (SMS/800). Numbers are assigned through service providers such as AT&T or Tollfreenumber.ORG.

Also, the FCC cannot make a request for a toll-free number on behalf of a customer. The FCC cannot reserve or hold numbers for a customer but they can mediate conflicts that arise over rights of ownership of specific numbers.

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