The benefits of an all-digital enterprise toll-free service

Allstream has partnered with The Toll-Free Exchange to provide toll-free service for enterprise customers in Canada and the U.S. We talk to Terry Causey, Allstream’s VP of Network Architecture & Engineering, about the latest evolution of our North American network.

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Allstream’s new toll-free service uses the exclusive routing capability of The Toll-Free Exchange for one-stop, one-step activation of inbound toll-free service from Canada, peered directly with the Inter-Exchange Carrier (IXC).

The Toll-Free Exchange is a carrier-neutral IPX network and digital platform directly connecting the toll-free Responsible Organization (Resp Org) and bypassing the Public Switched Telephone Network.

Using Allstream’s national feature group network and The Toll-Free Exchange IPX platform, Resp Orgs can—for the first time—quickly receive competitive flat-rate pricing and one-step service delivery through a digital platform that auto-provisions in real time.

We talk to Terry Causey, Allstream’s Vice-President of Network Architecture & Engineering, about how this new partnership will radically improve enterprise communications, reduce costs and eliminate complex provisioning on calls from Canada.

Q: How does this new partnership work?

This provides a virtual marketplace for acquiring Canadian-originated toll-free services. Any service provider or enterprise that manages their toll-free services as a unique Resp Org is a potential user of this marketplace.

Q: How does it provide better cost control?

A Resp Org can now go to The Toll Free Exchange marketplace and acquire Canadian-originated toll-free services at a fair price without lengthy negotiations with the usual carriers that dominate this space. Pricing is fixed at a flat rate. Most of Canada is priced at a reasonably low rate, though there are a few high-cost regions that have a separate pricing structure to keep the overall costs down.

Q: How does it provide disaster recovery?

Allstream’s ingress network for toll-free is a combination of redundant TDM trunking to the regional PSTN tandems and a mixture of VoIP trunking with our SIP peering partners. Any user of this service can utilize Allstream’s network as the primary route and flip to an alternate provider using a backup CIC-template in the unlikely event of a prolonged outage.

Q: What makes this different from other offerings?

This is unique as there is no easier way to establish toll-free services in Canada than through this method. A user can establish a relationship in a day and have services up and running the same day. Adding new toll-free numbers is instantaneous — there’s no order process or waiting for numbers to be provisioned. And they maintain ownership and management of the individual toll-free numbers.

The Toll-Free Exchange platform also enables Resp Org to Resp Org peering, a patented routing method exclusive to The Toll-Free Exchange. Partners of the Exchange will immediately peer traffic with other carriers and service providers such as Peerless, Intrado, Five9, inContact and many more. For more information, visit

Photo: mihailomilovanovic/iStock

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