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Unavailable 800 Exchanges
By Bill Quimby on May 2, 2022
The following 12 exchanges aren't available in the 800 area code.
271; 389; 415; 534; 623; 703; 740; 744; 751; 855; 904; 907
There are a dozen exchanges in the ‘800’ area code that are ‘set aside’ and not available. In the beginning of toll free numbers, AT&T was the only long distance company and toll free numbers were only available through them. But shortly after AT&T was broken up in 1984, in 1986 other companies began to be allowed to offer toll free service. They did this the same way that they allowed other companies to offer local numbers, by allocating exchanges to different phone companies.
In 1993 with the creation of the SMS800 database, individual numbers became ‘portable’ and could be assigned and transferred between phone companies. However, several ‘800’ exchanges had already been assigned to the phone companies in the Caribbean. All together 12 exchanges were set aside for use in those countries and then later, closed.
800-389 for the Bahamas
800-534 for Barbados
800-623 for Bermuda
800-415, 800-751, and 800-907 for the Dominican Republic
800-271 for Trinidad
800-855 is reserved for services for deaf or hearing-impaired users; these TTY-related numbers, operated by individual telephone companies, are assigned directly by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA)
Several other prefixes, including 800-703, 800-744, and 800-904 are reserved by the FCC.
911 was also set aside in EVERY area code and 555 was set aside in every toll free area code except 800. 800-555 was used in Canada before the Canadian and US systems were merged to form the SMS/800 and those customers didn't want to give those number up so it was allowed, making it the only area code in the North American Numbering Plan that allows 555.
With 7 toll free area codes that means an additional 13 area codes that aren't available. So there are 25 exchanges all together that aren't available.
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