April 21, 2017–The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau today authorized Somos, Inc., the administrator of the toll-free number database, to make numbers in the 833 toll-free code available beginning June 3, and directed it to poll RespOrgs (responsible organizations, which acquire toll-free numbers and assign them to subscribers) and RespOrg groups before the code opening “for a list of up to 2,000 individual 833 numbers the RespOrg or affiliated RespOrg Group requests to be reserved.”
Numbers with multiple reservation requests will be designated “unavailable” in the database, pending a full Commission decision on alternative number-assignment methods. “After the 833 code opens, the Bureau anticipates that the Commission will initiate a proceeding to consider whether to adopt new toll free number assignment methods or continue its first-come, first-served policy for 833 and any other available toll free numbers for which there are mutually exclusive requests. Alternative assignment methods could include, for example, assignment by auction or lottery. Pending the outcome of this proceeding, all 833 numbers placed in unavailable status in the toll free database due to mutually exclusive requests during the pre-code opening period will remain in that status,” the bureau said in an order adopted today in Common Carrier docket 95-155.
The bureau also increased “the quantity of toll free numbers RespOrgs may reserve under our rules to 4,000 for a brief 5-day period, beginning June 3, 2017.” —Lynn Stanton, firstname.lastname@example.org