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NANPA PL #407 -- Introduction of Toll-Free 855

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  • Mark J. Cuccia
    Back in April 2010, I had posted that the 2010-1Q NANPA Newsletter made mention that toll-free 866 was approaching exhaust (estimated around 2011/12
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6, 2010
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      Back in April 2010, I had posted that the 2010-1Q NANPA Newsletter made
      mention that toll-free 866 was approaching "exhaust" (estimated around
      2011/12 time-frame), and that the North American telco industry would
      request that the FCC approve opening up the "next" toll-free special
      area code, 855, for assignment of actual numbers to actual customers.

      Today, Tuesday 06-July-2010, NeuStar-NANPA issued Planning Letter #407,
      regarding the opening up of toll-free special area code 855, this PL-407
      can be downloaded from http://www.nanpa.com/pdf/PL_407.pdf which mentions
      that on (Friday) 25-June-2010, the Wireline Competition division of the
      FCC has authorized the opening up of 855 at "12pm" Eastern 01-October-2010.
      I assume that this means "12 Noon" (Eastern) on Friday 01-October-2010
      and not 12:01am (right after midnight) starting on that Friday...

      NeuStar-NANPA does not "directly" assign ten-digit 8YY-nxx-xxxx line-numbers
      to requesting customers or carriers. That is handled by a couple of
      North American telephone industry consortium bodies, one of them being
      DSMI (Database Services Management Inc), the other being "SMS Toll-Free".

      At one time, Lockheed-Martin was involved with one of these two consortiums,
      known as the "800 NASC" (Numbering Assignment Service Center). This was
      several years before LM took over basic/overall/general NANPA functions
      from Bellcore in the 1997/98 timeframe. I don't know if LM still has
      anything to do with any "800 NASC" or "SMS Toll-Free" body anymore, but
      I think that DSMI and/or "SMS Toll-Free" is still "somehow" associated
      with Telcordia (formerly Bellcore).

      The specific recent (1st half 2010) procedural history regarding 855
      with the FCC and various industry bodies is outlined in this Planning

      One thing that is not specifically mentioned, though, is that originally,
      both 866 and 855 were to have been introduced for toll-free numbering
      assignments "nearly" simultaneously, both in Spring 2000, a (few) weeks
      to a month apart from each other, 866 first followed by 855. I don't
      remember the exact planned implementation dates/interval though.
      However, the FCC postponed those dates. I seem to remember that the
      ultimate implementation of 866 for actual line-number assignments was
      in Fall 2000 (November?), and that 855 was "postponed until further
      notice". The note in PL-407 mentions that 866 was actually implemented
      in July 2000 (Summer). It was ten years ago, and I don't have immediate
      access to my notes from back then.

      There is no mention in today's Planning Letter about testing for the
      new toll-free 855 special area code... I do remember that the 250 office
      code within all toll-free area codes is reserved for "testing purposes"
      on the -0000 through -1499 line-number block. (I assume that 8yy-250-1500
      through -9999 is available for assignment to regular customers though).

      Specific four-digit line-numbers or specific "blocks" of line-numbers
      within the -0000 through -1499 range are to be "duplicate assigned" to
      the same service providers regardless of the actual toll-free SAC, i.e.,
      it is the same assignment on 800, 888, 877, 866, now 855, and future
      844, 833, 822, etc. However, with mergers, name-changes, etc. and just
      the overall change in the telco industry over the past ten years, I
      don't know "exactly how" the ATIS-INC/NRRIC/OBF/etc. bodies which
      maintained the 8yy-250-0000 thru -1499 test-number assignments still
      hold today (2010). i.e., since VeriZon/NYNEX/NET&T no longer operates
      in ME/NH/VT, does FairPoint have any (new) 855-250-xxxx or range of
      -xxxx's for testing, separate and distinct from the legacy 8yy-250-xxxx(s)
      for VZ/NET&T? Same for Frontier in legacy BOC areas in West Virginia,
      now that this is no longer part of VZ/Bell-Atlantic which has its own
      legacy 855-250-xxxx(s), etc. Remember that "for the most part" the
      incumbent LEC maintains (copies of) databases for translations to
      determine "which" IXC (or even LEC/CLEC) to hand-off a dialed 8yy-nxx-xxxx
      call over to, the actual service provider(s) that route the dialed
      toll-free number being determined by the paying/called customer who
      has "purchased" that toll-free 8yy number/service.

      Ten years ago, 855 was originally to have been implemented almost
      simultaneously with 866, even though 855 has been postponed for ten years.
      The local, LATA, and interexchange carrier networks (landline and
      wireless, etc), were all to have been "readied" for proper database-dipping,
      translation, and routing of 866-nxx-xxxx _AND_ 855-nxx-xxxx numbers as
      of Spring 2000. Thus, if nothing has changed, and all new switches
      implemented in the network since then have 855 opened up as "valid"
      along the same lines as 866, 877, 888, 800 are for routing/etc., then
      there "should" be no problem with opening up assignment of 855-nxx-xxxx
      numbers and their proper routing throughout the network regardless of
      which carrier/telco/etc. a call originates on, placed to an 855-nxx-xxxx
      number.... Well, considering how the telco industry is these days,
      I guess "we'll see"! (I do remember numerous routing problems with the
      introduction of 877 back in Spring 1998, mainly with origination from
      BellSouth Mobility)

      Mark J. Cuccia
      markjcuccia at yahoo dot com
      Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina
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