Why is porting numbers such an issue?

Discussion in 'VOIP' started by Al Puzzuoli, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. Al Puzzuoli

    Al Puzzuoli Guest


    I am considering signing up with a voip service but if I do so, I would
    like to port my current land line number. I have a friend who attempted
    to do this through Vonage. When He signed up, he was given a temp
    number"just until his original number was transfered." Well to make a
    long story short after two months, and numerous calls both to SBC and
    Vonage, he got tired of waiting. He bit the bullet, disconnected his
    land line and just gave out his "temp" vonage number as his primary
    phone. I don't know if this sort of thing is common. Does it have
    anything to do with SBC dragging their feet and not wanting to
    relinquish numbers, or should I stop being so cynical?

    I called BroadVoice the other day. Their unlimited world plan sounded
    like a great deal. I was already to fill out the number porting form
    which is prominently displayed on their page but was confused because at
    the same time, the page stated that the ability to port numbers was not
    yet available. I called BroadVoice. The guy I spoke with confirmed
    that they are not yet able to port numbers. He said that they are
    hoping to be able to start doing so some time in the first quarter of
    next year (Translation, they are hoping to start but they have no idea
    when it will happen).

    So all indications I have had so far is that this whole process is one
    big hassle. What's the deal?

    Al Puzzuoli, Dec 19, 2004
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  2. Al Puzzuoli

    pleonard Guest

    I'm in the process. I don't think you can really blame the newcomers when the
    RBOCs are fighting them every inch of the way. If my LNP gets rejected from
    Comcast, I will probably select a number near one of my relatives. You can
    have your number (and virtual numbers) anywhere you want.

    If you do join Vonage, by your own device at a local store and retail activate
    it. There is a $50 rebate, no shipping, and no activation fees. Plus, google
    for coupons when you join to get a referral credit of a free month. If you
    don't like it, return it to the store. If you do, there are no fees unless you
    cancel, then you still have to return the device to Vonage or you are charged
    $39.99. My first bill is:

    Phone Number                                  1     $0.00     $0.00
    Activation Fee                                1     $0.00     $0.00
    Residential Basic 500 Plan                    1    $14.99    $14.99
                                          FET Tax:                $0.45
                                          Regulatory Recovery Fee:$1.50
                                          Shipping:               $0.00
                                          Total:                 $16.94

    Google Broadvoice. Same story for at least six months now. That is the only
    reason I left them after 6 weeks. Otherwise, if LNP is not important to you,
    they are a great deal. I was signed up on their BYOD plan (Sipura 1000) for
    $5.95/mo+. Once I saw they weren't porting my number, which is why I initially
    joined them, I figured I might as well just by prepaid minutes with my ATA for
    LD calls. I found a place that sells them for $3.00 paypal at .012/min, no
    other fees, perfect quality. www.mutualphone.com
    Here is my confirmation email. What IS good about Vonage is that you are kept
    informed of the LNP progress in your control panel.

    Updated Date: Number Transfer Progress History:

    December 15, 2004 Awaiting Letter of Authorization
    December 15, 2004 Letter of Authorization (LOA) Received
    December 15, 2004 Transfer Sent to Carrier
    December 15, 2004 Transfer Sent to Carrier

    Thank you for placing your order with Vonage.  
    **PLEASE NOTE**: You have directed Vonage to assign your
    existing phone number to Vonage service. Before we can
    assign your number, your former telephone carrier must first process
    your request. Once your former carrier releases this number,
    Vonage assigns it to you immediately.

    **IMPORTANT**: In order to begin the Number Transfer Process,
    Vonage must receive your Letter of Authorization (LOA)
    form as well as a recent copy of your local phone bill.
    In the interim, Vonage provides you with a courtesy
    temporary virtual number. This number is labeled (VIRTUAL) in the
    paragraph below. Please feel free to use this number until your
    carrier releases your existing number. Please note that transferring
    your number can take at least 15 - 20 business days upon receipt of
    complete and correct paperwork. Vonage will keep you informed of the
    transfer process via email along the way.
    Your new Vonage Telephone Numbers,
    Voicemail Access Numbers and temporary Voicemail PINs are:
    Phone Number                 Voicemail Access Number  PIN

    You can set up your voicemail at any time by calling your Voicemail Access
    Number and following the instructions.

    Your 11-Digit Vonage phone number is your mailbox number.

    For your protection, please change your Voicemail PIN as
    soon as possible.

    Please take a few minutes to review the details of your order.
    pleonard, Dec 19, 2004
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  3. Remember Slamming?

    You had AT&T for long distance, then you start getting LD bills from JoeBlow
    Telecom. You were slammed.

    The same safeguards that prevent that from happening today, and also placed
    on LNP.

    You have to keep in mind that the L in LNP means local. You can have your
    number (and virtual numbers) anywhere you want IS NOT true. Try moving POTS
    from one LATA to another, and you will be denied. New York number in
    California without VoIP, I do not think so.

    But what it really looks like there are two factors involved. Just one or
    both will make it tough on Vonage.
    1. Vonage does not have their act together. Moving numbers (LNP) can be
    automated. Sounds like they are doing it manually and hitting all the red
    tape that the RBOCs have in place.
    2. Vonage does not have a physical network in the SBC footprint. Makes
    routing numbers to the right location tricky.

    Brian LaVallee
    Brian LaVallee, Dec 30, 2004
  4. Al Puzzuoli

    pleonard Guest

    Vonage's LNP went fine for me from Comcast Digital Phone. Now I'm thinking I'm
    very fortunate based on what you are saying. <g>

    December 15, 2004 Awaiting Letter of Authorization
    December 15, 2004 Letter of Authorization (LOA) Received
    December 15, 2004 Transfer Sent to Carrier
    December 15, 2004 Transfer Sent to Carrier
    December 23, 2004 Carrier Approved Transfer
    December 27, 2004 Completed LNP Transfer
    pleonard, Dec 30, 2004
  5. Al Puzzuoli

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In message <> "Brian LaVallee"
    I always considered that a good thing -- Free long distance until they
    reverse it (And contrary to their claims, they CAN take their service
    off your phone line again. You'll likely revert to the default LD
    carrier though, not your previous choice)

    I have no business relationship with JoeBlow Telecom, and have not
    authorized them to transfer my LD service, so I wouldn't pay JoeBlow nor
    acknowledge their existence in any way unless they took it to small
    claims court.

    In these parts, anyway, small claims courts took a dim view of slamming
    -- However, if you pay a penny to JoeBlow, it solidifies the business
    relationship and you'll probably be on the hook for the entire bill.

    The is the same principle as when a company mails a product to you
    without you having previously requested it. You are under no obligation
    to pay for the product, nor to return it. If they delivered it
    personally rather then shipped it via mail or a courier, you can
    actually go after them for disposal fees to cover your time and
    expresses taking their product to the dump to dispose of it.
    DevilsPGD, Dec 30, 2004
  6. Al Puzzuoli

    Ivor Jones Guest

    I'm just wondering if it's a good idea to do this, what if you want to go
    back the other way with your number one day..? After all you will still
    need a landline to get your VoIP service over anyway, so what number does
    that get when you've transferred its number to VoIP..?

    I prefer a totally separate (and new) number, I can then give it to those
    I don't particularly trust with my private home number. It's less likely
    to cause problems if the VoIP system goes off for any reason, don't forget
    it is still a relatively new technology and not 100% reliable, so is it
    wise to depend completely on it for your phone service..?

    Ivor Jones, Dec 31, 2004
  7. Al Puzzuoli

    p Guest

    I will depend on my cell phone. Personally, I believe everyone will use their
    cell phone only and dump POTS. The youngest generation of adults are going
    cell only, from what I can see. The only reason for me to port my home number
    to a voip provider is to keep the number I've had for a few years. If I have
    to lose that, I will just eliminate my landline and go cell only for incoming
    calls. Then I will use a pay-as-you voip for outbound service for LD.
    Currently, I use www.mutualphone.com for .012/min. calls.

    From what I've read, WRT porting your number back to POTS, it is actually very
    easy "IF" the number originated with your local telephone company. They're
    still partially in control of your number, including the CID database.

    OTOH, if you try to port out a number generated by the voip provider, it won't
    happen. So, the key to keeping your POTS phone number is to never cancel it,
    just port it to your new provider. Further, I've read that porting your number
    BACK to POTS is extremely easy, since they already control the number and they
    want to get back your business ASAP.
    p, Dec 31, 2004
  8. Al Puzzuoli

    Ivor Jones Guest

    So how are you going to get VoIP with no line coming in..? You just
    eliminated your landline, remember..?! I don't know of a way to get VoIP
    without a line of some description coming into the house, be it twisted
    pair or cable. Given this, you might as well keep the landline you already
    have and use VoIP as a second line.

    I actually use my cellular phone for 90% of my outgoing calls anyway, as I
    have a good deal for inclusive minutes. But I wouldn't want to rely 100%
    on it though, in case of an emergency it may not be working.

    Ivor Jones, Dec 31, 2004
  9. Al Puzzuoli

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In message <cr3e7o$fo7$> "Ivor Jones"
    Cable is one option, wireless is another, DSL is a third. None of these
    three technically require dialtone on the phone line, although depending
    on your telco they may have additional requirements.
    DevilsPGD, Dec 31, 2004
  10. Al Puzzuoli

    p Guest

    Cable, router and an Analog Telephone Adapter.
    It goes to voice mail. Same as if your VOIP goes down.
    p, Dec 31, 2004
  11. Al Puzzuoli

    p Guest

    Re-reading your post and mine, I think I might need to clarify something here.

    I had Comcast (formerly attbi) CableTV/Internet/Digital Phone service. These
    three services all run off of the same cable. I was issued a POTS number and I
    received a local number from attbi (AT&T Broadband Internet). I still have
    Comcast CableTV/Internet, but I have disconnected their Digital Phone Service
    from the same cable.

    Recently, I sent in an LOA (Letter Of Authorization) request to Vonage to port
    (LNP Local Number Portability) my local POTS number over from Comcast, thereby
    retaining my current phone number. Vonage is a VOIP (Voice Over Internet
    Protocol) provider and their service relies on any Internet connection,
    anywhere in the world. This allows me to retain my local phone number for
    incoming calls, where ever I am in the world with my device. Vonage has a
    relationship with a couple of telephone companies to allow me to connect to
    regular POTS lines.

    I'm in the VoIP business.

    Your INBOUND calls are received near where you're number is "physically"
    located and is terminated on numbers owned by (for the moment) one of two
    CLECS (Focal and Paetec). However, Focal and Paetec are only used for INBOUND
    calls, no outbound calls come back through these gateways. How much Vonage
    pays these CLEC's is private data.

    From there the call jumps onto a Level3 IP Networks and seeks your little ATA

    All OUTBOUND calls (whether local or long distance) are immediately "dumped"
    to a termination partner. Most calls I've monitored are being sent to Global
    Crossing. However, Vonage probably has numerous SIP Termination partners and
    it's proxy server/call switch can send your call.

    The irony to this is the Vonage quickly gets your OUTBOUND calls onto the good
    ole PSTN almost immediately. Why? Cause LD termination is cheap! No need to
    have IP to get cheap.
    ----------------------------------------End Quote--------------------------

    You do not need ANY incoming phone service to call outbound on VOIP. In fact,
    most of the very inexpensive services you see on the Internet are for outgoing
    only. Mutual phone, SIPphone, FWD, etc. are examples. There ARE ways to
    forward incoming calls to these services by getting a free POTS line in
    another state, like at http://www.ipkall.com/

    So, in the event that I could not have kept my local phone number for some
    reason, I would have just eliminated any incoming service. What I'm saying is,
    and it makes sense, that any service that includes unlimited incoming service
    incurs a monthly charge, while an outgoing plan can be pay-as-you-go.

    I own my own ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) which let's me add as many minutes
    as I want, just like a pre-paid telephone card. That is a "backup" to my cell
    phone for outgoing. The Vonage device I also have, is locked to Vonage's
    service only.
    p, Dec 31, 2004
  12. Al Puzzuoli

    Ivor Jones Guest

    Depends on where you live. Here in the UK you require a POTS line to get
    ADSL, whether you use it or not. Cable broadband is technically available
    without any other services but is very hard to get. By wireless I assume
    you mean 2-way satellite..? Very expensive and very slow, not viable for a
    single user.

    Here, at any rate, it's not yet viable to do away with an ordinary
    landline in favour of VoIP. Maybe one day, but not yet.

    Ivor Jones, Jan 1, 2005
  13. Al Puzzuoli

    Ivor Jones Guest

    Cable. Which comes in 99% of cases with an analogue phone line included.
    Not all VoIP providers (yet) have automatic voicemail. But you haven't
    answered my question - what do you use for an emergency outgoing call..?
    Your cellular battery has just gone flat and the local BTS is down anyway.

    Ivor Jones, Jan 1, 2005
  14. Al Puzzuoli

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In message <cr4udi$ljg$> "Ivor Jones"
    That's an administrative decision by your telco and/or the regulatory
    body, not a technical limitation.
    A phone call to the cable company isn't sufficient to order the service?
    I wouldn't recommend satellite, the latency is too high for typical VoIP
    usage. It might work, but the latency would be too annoying for average
    phone calls.

    However, you could go wireless (if there are any carriers in the area).
    There are a number of wireless technologies, anything from GRPS to
    point-to-point microwave to RF are all valid options for wireless
    communication over a distance.
    Perhaps not where you live, but it's very practical here.
    DevilsPGD, Jan 1, 2005
  15. Al Puzzuoli

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In message <cr4ujo$qi8$> "Ivor Jones"
    True, but many/most do. Implementing voicemail is extremely simple,
    it's mainly just a matter of the storage space required.
    Cell phone.
    If your need for emergency services access isn't sufficient motivation
    to keep your phone charged you can buy a backup battery which you leave
    on a charger at all times -- This will ensure that you always have the
    capability to make an emergency call if needed.
    DevilsPGD, Jan 1, 2005
  16. Al Puzzuoli

    Ivor Jones Guest

    But still the case, so largely irrelevant.
    Rarely. It isn't advertised as an available option. You *can* have it, but
    it's very hard to persuade them to sell it to you, they want you to have
    phone and TV as well..!
    Not available for individual users. Not here, anyway.
    At the end of the day, it all boils down to practicalities. If nobody
    provides the service, you don't get it..!

    Personally, I's still be very reluctant to do away with a traditional POTS
    line, even if I do only keep it for emergencies.

    Ivor Jones, Jan 1, 2005
  17. Al Puzzuoli

    Ivor Jones Guest

    DevilsPGD wrote:

    You missed the part about your local base not being on air. You have no
    signal. You live in an area where there is no coverage. You have no
    signal. It's midnight on New Year's Eve and all the cells are clogged with
    idiots singing to each other. You have no signal.

    Get the picture..? Cellular *may* not work, then what do you do when your
    78 year old mother is lying on the floor in need of an ambulance..?

    Ivor Jones, Jan 1, 2005
  18. Al Puzzuoli

    Kyler Laird Guest

    I have read (sorry, no reference handy) that VoIP companies are not treated the
    same as landline and mobile phone providers in this respect. While they can
    take your number, they're not required to relinquish it. Seems odd but I can
    imagine it...
    ....but maybe that's all it is and what I thought I understood isn't true.
    That is almost certainly true. I have read several porting FAQs that instruct
    to never cancel your number.
    As another option, consider "remote call forwarding". You can do it *now*, it
    will give you lots of flexibility and there's not a huge cost involved.

    RCF is provided by your local telco. From what I understand, it's usually
    marketed to businesses who want a telephone presence in a town (a local number)
    without having a physical presence there. When you get RCF service you specify
    a phone number where calls to some local number will ring. It *only* provides

    Not only is the service cheaper than regular phone service but because it's one
    way only many of the tariffs, etc. disappear. You'll also save on any special
    services you had (CallerID, distinctive ring, ...) because now you'll get them
    from your VoIP provider.

    By going with RCF, you can choose whatever VoIP provider you want without being
    so tied to which one has a local number in your area. This is a big deal for
    me because I live in a DID black hole. (I forward my calls to a toll-free
    LiveVoIP number.) I also figure it will make switching to another provider
    trivial. I would hate to have my number in the hands of a company that goes
    under. (Note that toll-free numbers are much easier to port. That's one
    reason I'm starting to use them.)

    If you're thinking about weaning off of your old number anyway, RCF might be a
    quick and painless way to get started and shave quite a bit off your local bill.

    Kyler Laird, Jan 1, 2005
  19. Al Puzzuoli

    p Guest

    Plug my cell in to my car for a battery source?
    p, Jan 1, 2005
  20. Al Puzzuoli

    p Guest

    Or your POTS line gets cut. What to do then?
    p, Jan 1, 2005
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