Tag Archives: toll free evolution

V1 VoIP Explains History Toll Free Number Evolution


Can you believe there was once a time when the only way for a caller to reach a business for free was to place a collect call through a telephone operator? V1 VoIP sees that the use of toll free phone numbers and services are highly in demand with our resellers and wholesale agents. A great use for businesses, as well as residential uses, toll free services are an easy way for VoIP providers to make money with monthly returns. Here, V1 VoIP takes you through the evolution of toll free services and phone numbers.

AT&T introduced toll-free calling to the United States in 1967. To do so, they came up with the revolutionary concept of ‘specialized’ telephone numbers that made a call free for the person dialing the number, no matter where they were located in the US. This “800” prefix told telephone companies that the owner of the telephone number would pick up the long distance charges.

Expensive at first, only large, national companies were able to afford this service. But as telephone technology improved, toll-free telephone numbers became less expensive, and more businesses got on board. It didn’t take long for the toll-free telephone number to go viral.

By 1996, 1-800 were so popular the supply of available numbers was actually deteriorating. That year the FCC expanded toll-free prefixes to also include “888” and would expand prefixes several more times over the next decade. Today there are five different prefixes used in the United States. Vanity phone numbers also became popular by offering words like 1-800-GOT-JUNK.

When the use of VoIP arrived on the scene, there was a massive explosion of toll free use because customers could direct toll free numbers to their existing phone line virtually. V1 VoIP resellers and wholesale see huge surges from businesses looking to ease the customer experience by offering free support calling.

To learn more about the toll free VoIP carrier services and solutions that V1 VoIP offers, contact a member of the V1 VoIP toll free team today.

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