Steady Decline of Available Toll Free Numbers Has Economists and Telecommunications Experts Predicting A Dismal 2009

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Potential Meltdown Within The Toll Free Sector Feared.

An unprecedented decrease in the availability of 1-800 numbers in 2008 has telecommunications experts concerned about the possibility of a complete eradication of available numbers within the toll free sector in 2009.

This week, a member of the Tollfree Advisory Committee at said scarcity is causing a record-breaking rush to obtain toll free numbers. According to the Federal Communications Commission, toll free numbers "have proven successful for businesses and are increasingly popular for personal use." Toll free phone numbers are considered one of the best marketing tools, particular during recessionary financial times.

With economists predicting a continued financial downturn in 2009, the limited availability of toll free numbers could have a substantial impact on small companies nationwide. Business owners looking to secure a 1-800 number for marketing purposes may find the supply of suitable numbers has vanished.

Further, insiders warn that illegal hoarding and selling of the numbers could rise as users scurry to secure the last remaining toll free numbers. And federal officials appear to be taking occurrences of improper brokering seriously--in April 2008 the FCC cited a potential $11,000 fine to the owners of a California company following a federal inquiry into their toll free use practices. This followed a string of unrelated instances, including at least one owner's attempt to sell his numbers on eBay.

To mitigate the impact of the scarcity of numbers, the Tollfree Advisory Committee recommends the release by the FCC of the reserved 855, 844, and 833 toll free area codes.

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Trenta Holmes
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