Home | About Us | Services | Support | Login
 
 
 
Voicemail
Fax to Email
One Number
Virtual PBX
Real Estate
Live Answering
Resellers
 

 
  Custom Solutions  
 
We are dedicated to providing solutions that meet the unique needs of our clients. Other providers may try to sell you a "one size fits all" solution. Our representatives will take the time to work with you and customize your services so they deliver the precise solution that meets your particular needs.
 
 

 
 
 
 

The Introduction of Toll Free Calling

With little fanfare and meager expectations, in 1967 AT&T launched a new product called "interstate INWARD WATS."  Actually, "launch" is a strong word, because AT&T never envisioned the radical changes this product would bring to the world of business.  Their new "WATS" service had been developed as a solution to meet an anticipated shortage of telephone company operators.  These operators were becoming overwhelmed by the number of collect calls that were being accepted by businesses.  AT&T believed that this new service, also known as "Automated Collect Calling", was a perfect solution, but otherwise had limited appeal.  Nobody at AT&T would have dreamed that by 1992, only 25 short years after initial introduction, 40% of the calls on AT&T's long distance network would be toll free calls. 
 

From a Novelty, to Smart Business

In the early years, toll free calling was a novelty and experienced modest growth.  The catalyst for explosive growth in toll free calling came with the creation of centralized databases within AT&T's network in the 1980s.  These databases allowed businesses to have a single nationwide toll-free number instead of requiring different numbers for each state.  The early days of modest growth were long forgotten and almost overnight it became smart business to advertise a toll-free number.  This in turn grew into an expectation that companies wanting business would provide a toll-free number.  By the late 1980's, what had been simply a novelty a decade before, was now a requirement for any serious business.
 

Toll Free Calling in the Information Age

Today, the combination of a Web site and a toll-free number provides businesses a truly global, electronic storefront.  As businesses harness the power of the Web with the ease of use and ubiquity of the telephone, toll-free will play a major role. From its humble beginning as interstate "INWARD WATS", toll-free calling has become an indispensable part of American life for consumers as well as businesses.
 

A Timeline of Toll Free History

1967: AT&T launches "Inbound WATS."
1984: Toll Free Services "Unbundled" by MFJ*
1994: Toll Free Number Portability Mandated
1996: "888" Service Introduced
1997: International Toll Free Introduced
1998: "877" Service Introduced
2000: "866" Service Introduced

* MFJ- Modified Final Judgment (MFJ) issued by District Court Judge Harold Greene and caused the divestiture of the "Baby Bells" from AT&T.



 
 
 

Copyright 2002-2012 VoiceNation, LLC.  All rights reserved.
Voiceplus Communications is a Service Mark of VoiceNation, LLC
Telephone: (678) 318-1300 | Legal Terms | Web Partners | Sitemap