National Number Portability - What Can We Do?

Posted by Ken Babcock on Apr 17, 2018 10:56:40 AM

In my last blog, I made what I consider to be a clear statement of what can be done and what will happen if we do not do something.  We need to face reality and meet it head on.

The first thought that comes to my mind is that we will need one world-wide database that will be populated with unique Geographic User Building Blocs (GUBBS).  Initially, the thought is to make the concept work within the existing North American Numbering Plan Area (NANPA) and if successful expand the idea to the rest of the world.

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Topics: national number portability, Regulatory, LNP

Why is National Number Portability Such a Big Deal?

Posted by Ken Babcock on Feb 1, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Recently, there has been a growing public buzz about the impact of making it possible for any telephone number user to keep his/her same telephone number regardless of where he/she moves within the United States.

From a purely technical perspective, especially in this world of IP-to-IP connectivity and wireless, there is nothing from a network operations perspective that would prevent such an occurrence.

However, as we all know, the devil is in the details.

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Topics: Regulatory, LNP

What Happens When Your Telephone Number Does Not Mean Anything?

Posted by Ken Babcock on Jan 16, 2018 4:38:17 PM

For the last fifty years of my telecom experience, a person’s telephone number had geographical significance that was critical to proper rating and classification of calls placed from a telephone number.

The telephone number could easily be translated to a/an:

  • Exchange Name
  • Exchange Carrier
  • Rate Center having specific Vertical and Horizontal coordinates that identified the exact physical location within the North American Numbering Plan Area
  • LATA Code
  • State Code

This type of structure historically promoted distance-sensitive rating structures for individual calls that carried labels like Local, intrastate toll and interstate toll. The structure often dictated things like when you were billed for telephone usage during a month.

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Topics: Regulatory, LNP

Is Local Number Portability a Success?

Posted by Ken Babcock on May 25, 2017 11:20:27 AM

When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) first mandated Local Number Portability (LNP) on June 27, 1996 in the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas by October 1, 1997 and elsewhere by December 31, 1998 as a spur to open up competition for customers among local service providers, I doubt that it had any idea how pervasive their requirement would become.

At the time of the initial FCC ruling on LNP, the concept of allowing a user to transfer his/her fixed-line telephone service from one service provider to another without changing the service’s ten digit telephone number was viewed as the end-of-the-world by Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC) and Independent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) personnel.

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Topics: LNP, Regulatory, Telecom Data Analytics