Relay Consumer Alert: New FCC Rules on Toll Free Numbers

Relay Consumer Alert: New FCC Rules on Toll Free Numbers

August 10, 2011

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is pleased to announce that on
August 4, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its
final rules on the use of toll free (800 or 866 numbers). The order stops
the assignment of new toll-free numbers to Video Relay Service (VRS) users
and requires the transition to local ten-digit numbers. If a VRS user wishes
to obtain a toll free number or continue using his/her toll free number,
he/she must pay separately for the toll free number. Telephone users use
local ten-digit numbers and can pay separately for toll free numbers.

The FCC also adopted a one-year transition period where previously assigned
toll free numbers will continue to work until August 3, 2012. If you use a
toll free number, you need to start using your local ten-digit number and
let your family, friends, and colleagues know to contact you at your local
ten-digit number. Your toll free number will no longer work after August 4,
2012 unless you make arrangements to pay for it separately. Both providers
and the FCC will do outreach on this issue to consumers.

We applaud the FCC for its hard work and making this important step towards
the goal of functional equivalency for all deaf and hard of hearing people.

To read the August 4, 2011 FCC order: (PDF format)

Here are some of our previous press releases and vlogs on this topic:

10-digit Numbers for VRS and IP Relay Users Are Superior to Toll Free Numbers

FCC to Transition 800 Number Users to Toll Free Providers

Relay Consumer Alert: 800 Numbers No Longer Interoperable


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