Get excited for the Toll-Free Auction!

For the first time ever, the FCC will be holding an auction for over 17,000 toll-free numbers in the newly released 833 toll-free exchange. After over 50 years of toll-free service, this is the first time in history these numbers have ever been auctioned! That’s right, the first 800 number was released and in service on January 1, 1966, then 877, followed by 866, 855, 844 and now the new 833, which was released on April 22nd, 2017.

The FCC auction will be a single round, sealed bid Vickery auction. In a Vickrey auction, the highest bidder wins, but pays the price of the second-highest offer instead of the price they originally bid.

Although we can all see the value in a vanity number like 833-Flowers, its hard to conceive paying a price for something when it does not cost anything for a RespOrg to acquire these numbers today. A Responsible Organization, or RespOrg for short, is authorized to acquire toll-free numbers for their customers for free! Most RespOrgs are carriers like AT&T or Verizon, but any organization can become a RespOrg and acquire their own toll-fee numbers. This auction might just be the spark that prompts other organizations to become RespOrgs.

Once the auction is completed, the FCC will authorize a secondary market for only the numbers that have been auctioned.  Could this mean someday soon we will see toll-free numbers traded like Bitcoin or even on the New York Stock Exchange?

Stay tuned.

For more information regarding the toll-free auction or toll-free management, including texting for toll-free, contact us at