The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it will release the new 844 toll free prefix on December 7, 2013. The last time the FCC released a new toll free prefix was in October 2010 when they released 855 numbers. Businesses across the US and Canada have already started planning to get their very own 844 toll free numbers. Carolina Digital Phone will make these 844 numbers available to its customers with all the advanced features of a business class phone system.
844 toll free numbers will function exactly the same as any other toll free number. The main advantage here is the availability of vanity numbers — numbers that spell a word or name. Entrepreneurs are aware how difficult it is to get a custom toll free number or a custom vanity toll free number. The best ones have become nearly impossible to find. The release of 844 numbers gives them an opportunity to grab the business phone number of their choice. This new prefix will basically replenish the stock of vanity numbers. This will enable companies and individuals to get a branded vanity number or acquire an additional prefix for their existing branding. Business owners will try to make the most of this opportunity for the benefit of their business.
This letter responds to your June 28, 2013 letter on behalf of SMS/800, Inc., recommending that the Commission open the 844 toll free number code on December 7, 2013. We understand that recent demand for toll free number reservations has accelerated exhaust of available numbers in the 800, 888, 877, 866, and 855 codes. SMS/800, Inc., therefore, now recommends opening the 844 toll free code on December 7, 2013, earlier than its originally proposed date of February 15, 2014. It is in the public interest for the industry and consumers to have continued access to numbering resources, including toll free numbers. Therefore, pursuant to the Federal Communications Commission’s exclusive jurisdiction over numbering resources in the United States under section 251(e)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) authorizes SMS/800, Inc. to open the 844 toll free code on December 7, 2013 at noon, Eastern Time, so that Responsible Organizations (RespOrgs) may reserve 844 toll free numbers. We continue to seek ways to conserve numbering resources in order to preserve this valuable public resource and meet the needs of the industry and consumers. The Bureau has sought comment on whether the number allocation method used in opening the 855 toll free code should be used to open the 844 code. That method limited each RespOrg to 100 numbers from the new code, per day, for the first 30 days after the code was open. The allocation method for the 844 code remains under consideration. Moreover, should subsequent projections indicate that toll free number exhaust is more imminent, the Bureau may institute emergency procedures to avoid depletion of the current pool of available numbers before the new 844 code is opened. Thank you for your cooperation. If you need anything further, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Julie A. Veach, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554