Number Portability Not Evenly Enforced

The FCC is determined to enforce Local Number Portability (LNP) by the end of the year. It means that customers will be able to switch wireless carriers, and take their phone number with them. The big cellular carriers are resisting this fiercely: a US court of appeals will review the CTIA’s petition to stop LNP in Washington tomorrow. The question that the wireless carriers are asking is “Why aren’t landline carriers required to offer LNP, too?” If they were, how many landline customers would switch to wireless? The political climate is such that the FCC is likely to win the appeal. Come Fall, expect “technical delays” from the carriers, and the resulting fines from the FCC. Eventually, by sometime next year, LNP will be a practical reality. Add this to the list of unfair burdens the FCC is putting on the wireless carriers.

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