FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is The Toll-Free Exchange?

The Toll-Free Exchange is Resp Org based paid peering and settlement platform.

What is a Resp Org?

A Resp Org (short for Responsible Organization) is an SMS800.com registered and certified entity with access to the toll-free numbering resources, routing and porting capability offered by SMS/800.

What are the requirements to be registered with The Toll-Free Exchange?

You must be a Resp Org and have an assigned ID.

How does it work?

The old way: For a toll-free call to complete there is a caller who dials a toll-free number (aka originating) and a callee who receives the toll-free calls (aka terminating); in between there may exist any number of service providers and telephony carriers. Toll free calls are paid for by the organization receiving the calls, for example “1-800-AIRLINE”. Typically the call will come into the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) by way of the caller’s service provider, for example T-Mobile. T-Mobile will determine who the service provider is for 1-800-AIRLINE, for example AT&T, and connect the call to AT&T. AT&T will then pass the call to the receiving business, in this case 1-800-AIRELINE. The receiving business will pay AT&T for those calls, and AT&T may pay T-Mobile (or more specifically their tandem provider) a small portion of that amount. And so it goes down the line.

The Toll-Free Exchange way: With the Toll-Free Exchange we allow any Resp Org in The Exchange to directly connect to another Resp Org instead of using the PSTN. If T-Mobile is a Resp Org and 1-800-AIRLINE is a Resp Org than there is no need to pass the call to AT&T. Instead T-Mobile can directly connect the call to 1-800-AIRLINE. T-Mobile can specify the rate – called a “sell rate” – for connecting those calls to 1-800-AIRLINE. The sell rate will be more than what was being paid by AT&T. And 1-800-AIRLINE will reduce their cost from what was being paid to AT&T by paying T-Mobiles sell rate. Both entities benefit. AT&T benefits too, if they participate in the exchange.

If I use the Toll-Free Exchange will my existing service be affected?

Not at all! The Toll-Free Exchange is an “over-the-top” service. Existing originating (sending) and terminating (receiving) traffic is in no way affected by participating in The Toll-Free Exchange. Calls sent to the exchange will be optionally rejected if the terminating (receiving) Resp Org is not participating. Organizations receiving toll-free calls will continue to receive calls using existing facilities from their existing service provider. By participating any call that comes from the Toll-Free Exchange will bypass those facilities and cost.

How much does it cost?

There is a $0.0005 per minute fee assessed on originating traffic for calls that traverse the exchange. There is no monthly recurring charge.

How does this affect my organizations revenue?

Traffic originated into the exchange is compensated at the “sell rate” you post for your Resp Org Id. If you are not being compensated for your toll-free outbound traffic today then this will be a new source of revenue for your organization. If you are already being compensated either as a LEC with a tariff or as a service provider with end user traffic you may post a sell rate that reflects a premium over your current compensation. The economics of direct peering suggest a significant gap between your compensation rate and the average cost of the terminating (receiving) Resp Org.

How does this affect my organizations cost?

The exchange has the largest impact on terminating (receiving) Resp Orgs and the organizations that purchase their toll-free services. Whether you are paying a flat rate for your inbound toll-free traffic or you are using a complex routing template with SMS across multiple carriers the economics of direct peering as opposed to traditional PSTN routing suggest a significant opportunity to discount your current cost. Although originating Resp Org’s specify the default “sell rate” for their traffic you, the terminating Resp Org, have the ability to set a “ceiling” rate. If the originators sell rate exceeds your ceiling rate the call is rejected within the exchange; the call will be returned to the originating provider and will follow the exact call flow and billing it does today. The call is rated at the sell rate. Neither the party will assume any cost if the call does not connect.

Can I set an individual rate with another Resp Org?

Yes. An originating Resp Org can set a sell rate on an individual case basis with a terminating (receiving) Resp Org Id. No agreement is needed. Rate notifications are published monthly on thirty days notice and the terminating Resp Org has the ability to block if the rate is not agreeable.

How does settlement work?

The price of a call is based on the sell rate and duration of the call. Cost is calculated at the time the call is completed. The monthly statement is a sum of all calls in the calendar month (GMT) grouped by originating (sending) and terminating (receiving) Resp Org ID.

Can a receiving (terminating) Resp Org set a ceiling rate?

Yes. The Resp Org receiving the call can set the maximum price allowed on a default or per Resp Org Id basis. Ceiling rates are not published.

What happens if there is a dispute?

Disputes are handled by the Toll-Free Exchange administration. We will attempt to settle any dispute prior to payment due. In the event a payment is withheld the involved entities will be asked to assist with resolution of the issue. The Toll-Free Exchange will facilitate the final resolution.

How does The Toll-Free Exchange deal with fraud?

The exchange provides the ability to block based on Resp Org for any reason. If an organization participating in the exchange believes that traffic is being artificially generated they should contact the exchange for resolution. The targeted Resp Org also has the ability to investigate and immediately block the originating Resp Org Id. For dispute resolution see the dispute FAQ.

Will I get a statement?

Yes. Statements are generated and transmitted to all Resp Org’s monthly on the first calendar day of the month. Download a sample invoice here.

What are the billing terms?

Statements are created and sent on the first of each month. They are due within 30 days. Calls are billed in 6/6 increments starting at the early media (aka session progress or SIP 180/183 ).

How is the amount owed/paid calculated?

The payment is based on the net amount of traffic originated (sent) and terminated (received) by the Resp Org, minus the exchange rate of 0.0005/minute. Net payments to the exchange are due within 30 days of the invoice. Net payments from the exchange are paid 30 days from statement date and are based on receipts.

Are there any taxes or fees?

A W9 is required for all participating organization. Toll-Free exchange payments for originated traffic will reported to the IRS. For calls billed by the exchange to the terminating (receiving) Resp Org USF (https://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/universal-service) charges apply. USF exempt organizations will be asked to certify their status annually.

What does the call flow look like?

Modal pop-up here.

Is it 100% VoIP/SIP?

Yes. All originating and terminating traffic is VoIP based using the SIP protocol.

What protocols and codecs are support?

The SIP protocol is used. Supported voice codecs include G722 (HD), G711u and G729 (pass-through). For video we support H.264 (pass-through).

Is video supported?

Yes!

Is HD voice supported?

Yes!

Where is the exchange hosted?

The exchange is hosted in the Google Compute cloud. We chose Google as the home for the exchange due to its network, cloud api’s, and network peering reach.

What options are available to direct connect with the Toll-Free Exchange?

Since the exchange is hosted in the Google Compute cloud we do not offer TDM interconnections. Google does offer network peering and participates on many peering exchanges globally. Read more about peering with Google here: https://peering.google.com/about/faq.html. VPN connections may be available; please contact us for more information.

How does The Toll-Free Exchange handle media?

All media is anchored through the exchange. We believe this provides the most consistent quality and reliability.

Can I block based on Resp Org?

Yes. Both for originating and terminating traffic.

What if a number changes Resp Org?

The exchange incorporates a Service Control Point (SCP) into the platform. An SCP is the routing database for all toll-free numbers managed by SMS/800. When a toll-free number changes Resp Org Id the Toll-Free Exchange is immediately updated.

What happens to a call if the terminating (receiving) Resp Org does not participate with The Toll-Free Exchange?

The call is blocked by default. However, you may request the exchange terminate (complete) 100% of calls. In this case the originating Resp Org is only compensated for the calls terminating to participating Resp Org’s.

Is time-of-day day routing, geographical call blocking and other SMS800 functionality supported?

No. This should be handled by the receiving (terminating) organizations switch.

How do you determine the originating (sending) and terminating (receiving) Resp Org?

The originating Resp Org is determined based on the SIP trunk group that handles the call ingress to the Toll-Free Exchange. The terminating Resp Org is based on the ten-digit dialed toll-free number as represented in the SMS/800 SCP.

Is Resp Org based routing patented?

Yes. Resp Org based routing is protected by U.S. Patent Application No.: 14/836,396 “ROUTING OF TOLL-FREE NUMBERS USING A TOLL-FREE EXCHANGE”

Is The Toll-Free Exchange a tandem?

No. The Toll-Free Exchange does not provide local or access services. It is not part of or connected to the PSTN.

What taxes are applicable?

A W9 is required for all participating organization. Toll-Free exchange payments for originated traffic will reported to the IRS. For calls billed by the exchange to the terminating (receiving) Resp Org USF (https://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/universal-service) charges apply. USF exempt organizations will be asked to certify their status annually.

Back To Top