First launched by AT&T in 1967, toll-free numbers have become a valuable tool for businesses around the country, allowing customers and prospects to contact them without having to worry about the cost of a long-distance call. While most people are familiar with the ubiquitous 800 toll-free prefix, the Federal Communications Commission added several other toll-free prefixes over the years to keep up with demand. As of March, 2015, there are six toll-free prefixes in the US: 800, 844, 855, 866, 877 and 888.
Getting Your Own Toll-Free Number
To get a toll-free number, companies or individuals must contact a toll-free service provider whose role is to check whether a specific number is available and to perform the registration -- a process similar to the one you would use when registering an Internet domain name.
While 800, 844, 855, 866, 877 and 888 are toll-free prefixes, not all prefixes starting with "8" are toll-free. The 818 prefix, for example, is an area code that covers the north of Los Angeles, CA, while the 870 area code is the area code for most of Arkansas.