Tuesday, October 30, 2007

FCC Expands Local Number Portability to VoIP

The FCC voted to expand local number portability (LNP) rules to VoIP services, giving consumers the right to keep the same, familiar phone number when switching to a new provider.

The FCC made clear that the obligation to provide local number portability extends to interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol providers and the telecommunications carriers that obtain numbers for them. The FCC said the action was, in part, a response to numerous complaints by consumers about their inability to port numbers to or from interconnected VoIP providers. The FCC also initiated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on additional VoIP numbering issues.

The FCC also clarified in its order that telephone companies may not obstruct or delay number porting by demanding excess information from the customer's new provider, and specifically concluded that LNP validation for a simple number port should be based on no more than four fields: (1) 10-digit telephone number; (2) customer account number; (3) 5-digit zip code; and (4) pass code, if applicable.


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