FCC seeks comment on moving toward Nationwide Number Portability
Via FCC Headlines
Oct 25, 2017
Expansion could benefit consumers and improve network efficiency
WASHINGTON, October 24, 2017: The Federal Communications Commission is looking to expand the consumer and economic benefits provided by consumers being able to take their phone number to any carrier.
Number portability enables consumers and businesses to keep their current phone number when changing providers or, in some instances, when moving to a new location. But currently, nationwide number portability is limited. Now, the FCC is seeking comment on the best ways to provide complete nationwide number portability.
Consumers and businesses like keeping long-held phone numbers for convenience, sentiment, and economic value. And the ability to port a familiar number increases phone service competition by eliminating one barrier to changing service providers. But current limitations, which often restrict porting to a local area, inconvenience consumers and undercut the power of number portability to drive competition.
Nationwide number portability would benefit consumers and competition in many ways. It would level the playing field for small wireless providers, which often can’t port in a number originating from a location where they lack facilities. It would eliminate disparities that make wireline and VoIP porting more limited than wireless porting. And it would increase network efficiency in an era where all-distance calling is the norm.
In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry, the FCC is seeking comment on the regulatory and technological changes that would be required to implement complete nationwide number portability between all service providers, regardless of size or type. Because the transition to complete nationwide number portability will require extensive work, collaboration and support by all parties involved, the Notice proposes taking an incremental approach.
Action by the Commission October 24, 2017 by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry (FCC 17-133). Chairman Pai, Commissioners Clyburn, O’Rielly, Carr and Rosenworcel approving. Chairman Pai, Commissioners Clyburn, O’Rielly and Carr issuing separate statements.