Strange Bedfellows Oppose WLNP

The wireless industry’s fight against Wireless Local Number Portability (WLNP) found a strange ally today in the Fixed telephone industry groups. The Fixed carriers urged regulators and legislators to delay WLNP past November for the same reasons the CTIA cited: a lack of clarity on how WLNP should be implemented. With both groups arguing that chaos will ensue, the argument becomes more credible, since the fixed-line carriers have less of a bias (they won’t see increased churn because of WLNP; however, many fixed carriers do have investments in wireless carriers.) The letter the fixed camp sent to Capitol Hill said, “(the current deadline amounts) to little more than a deadline for a deadline?s sake and is likely to do nothing more than spark another round of industry disputes and consumer confusion and frustration.” It is true that November is a deadline for a deadline’s sake, but very often it is only an arbitrary deadline that drives a change. Without an arbitrary deadline from regulators, we would never see WLNP. Although today’s events are the most likely to succeed in effecting a delay from Washington, I still think the regulators will hold their ground. (Please note: I am against WLNP regulation this year, but my reasons are that the timing coincides too closely with recession, E911 requirements, and 3G network upgrades).

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