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FCC EXTENDS 800 PROTECTION - ONLY 10 DAYS LEFT

On February 29, 1996, the FCC extended the period of time that 800 subscribers may register the 888 versions of their 800 numbers for protected status, to March 15, 1996.

There are currently approximately 375,000 toll-free vanity numbers set-aside -- grandfathered -- in the 888 area code. These 888 equivalents of existing 800 vanity numbers are protected, at least for the moment, from competition, trademark infringement, misdial costs, lost business and customer confusion, pending the FCC Rulemaking on replication.

Of note, alluding to the problems that 800 subscribers have had registering for 800 protection via their carriers, the FCC offered an unprecedented opportunity for subscribers to bypass the Resp Orgs and communicate directly with Database Services Management, Inc. (DSMI), which manages the 800 SMS Database.

With recent talk of congressional interest in auctioning 888 vanities, one may question how wise it is to add one's numbers to this pool. This is a valid concern, although we have confirmed that 888 COLLECT and 888 MUSIC NOW (MCI), 888 COMPARE (AT&T), 888 PIN DROP and 888 THE MOST (Sprint), are included in the set-aside protected pool.

Given this precarious status of their own most important marketing numbers, an assumption could be drawn that the carriers will put forward their best efforts to work for protection (replication) for all concerned 800 subscribers.

To add your vanity number to this "protected" list, contact Database Services Management (DSMI) at 908-699-2100. 888 numbers submitted in writing directly by subscribers (unless already in working 888 status with another user) will be accepted through March 15.

For more information contact:
Judith Oppenheimer
ICB Inc.
160 East 26 Street, Suite 6E 
New York, NY  10010
Phone: (212) 684-7210.
Toll Free: (800) 843-3973
Email: joppenheimer@icbtollfree.com
ICB News Web Site: http://icbtollfree.com.

Source: ICB Inc.

Opinions expressed above are those of the Source, and not necessarily those of the publishers of The Digest.