Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When will the auction take place and when do I need to apply to participate?

The Registration and Application Window Opens on Monday, October 7, 2019, Noon ET. It closes on Friday, October 18, 2019, promptly at 6:00 p.m. ET. Applications will not be accepted after the window closes. The auction will take place on December 17, 2019. Opening and closing times for the auction will be announced.


Q: How can I participate?

The FCC’s Auction Procedures Public Notice provides details on how individuals and companies will be able to participate and what information they will need to provide in their auction application. The 833 Auction instructions and tutorials on this site will also give you information on filling out your registration and application. If you do not wish to participate in the auction directly, you may be able to participate through certain Responsible Organizations (Resp Orgs).


Q: What is a Resp Org and  do I need one?

A Resp Org is, by FCC rule, the entity that manages a toll free number for the subscriber. Resp Orgs are the only entities that can provide the necessary routing information to make a toll free number work. A potential subscriber can participate directly in the auction or indirectly through a Resp Org.  After the auction, a winning bidder that did not bid through a Resp Org must identify one that it will use to manage its toll free number. A list of Resp Orgs (Toll Free Service Providers) is available here. This list will be updated in the near future with a list of Resp Orgs who can provide auction services.


Q: Are all 833 numbers available in the auction?

No. Only numbers that were set aside by the FCC are available for bidding. For a list of available 833 numbers, click here.


Q: What happens if my application to participate is not initially accepted?

After the initial application window closes, Somos will review the applications and determine whether they are complete or incomplete.  If an application is deemed incomplete, the applicant will be contacted and informed about application errors and omissions, and there will be an application resubmission period to make minor modifications to the application. Those items must be fixed by the end of the resubmission deadline, or the application will be deemed incomplete and the applicant will not be qualified to bid in the auction.


Q: What is an upfront payment and how does it work?

An upfront payment determines how many numbers you can bid on in the auction. The FCC will set the upfront payment amount in the Auction Procedures Public Notice. If, for example, the FCC determines the upfront payment to be $100 and you want to bid on a maximum of 15 numbers total, your upfront payment would be 15x$100, or $1,500.  Once the auction concludes, if a winning bid is less than the bidder’s upfront payment, any remaining amount will be refunded to the bidder, minus any default payments that a bidder may owe.  Similarly, if a bidder does not have any winning bids, it will be reimbursed the entirety of its upfront payment.