Calm down. More numbers are coming.
They might not be the perfect gift for a 3-year-old nephew, but 1-800 numbers have always been a valuable marketing tool since its conception in 1967. With businesses scooping up millions of these numbers due to their great marketing potential, the FCC will have to introduce 1-833, allowing for approximately 7.7 million new numbers to be registered. Area codes that are currently available include 1-800, 1-888, 1-877, 1-866, 1-855, and 1-844, but the availability of numbers are limited.
The popularity of toll-free numbers began to surge with the introduction of vanity numbers. In 1986, vanity numbers (such as 1-800-GET-ELMO) added another level of usability for callers, and the demand for toll-free numbers skyrocketed. Millions of people scrambled to get vanity numbers of their own, or registered numbers they knew others would seek, with the intent of profit. (This is known as number hoarding, which is illegal according to the FCC.) You can compare this to cybersquatting, where web trolls register domain names then resell them to existing businesses.
If you want to register a number with the 1-800 area code, it’s time to act now. While other area codes are available, 1-800 is the most recognizable and the most sought out for. Of course, there are other options to choose from. And with the 1-833 area code on the way, there will be plenty of new toll-free number combinations to choose from.
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