In September 2018, the FCC launched an experiment to assign toll free numbers through competitive bidding and announced the first-ever U.S. auction of toll free numbers.  This auction will include approximately 17,000 numbers in the newly-opened 833 toll free code for which there were multiple, competing requests at the time the 833 code was opened.

In May 2019, the FCC took the next step toward making the 833 Auction a reality.  In the 833 Auction Comment Public Notice, the FCC proposed and sought comment on procedures to be used in the 833 Auction, with comments due by June 3, 2019, and replies due by June 10, 2019.  The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau also released a Public Notice seeking petitions to set aside numbers from the auction for use and public health and safety purposes, with petitions due by May 16, 2019.

The auctioneer for the 833 Auction is Somos, Inc. (Somos), which serves as the Toll Free Numbering Administrator.  Somos will provide more information about the auction, accept applications to participate in the auction, and host the auction on its website’s auction portal: