by Mike Masnick

Smaller Carriers Not Expected To Be Ready For Number Portability

The FCC is getting ready to listen to evidence suggesting that many smaller mobile phone service providers are in no position at all to handle the next wave of number portability, which is supposed to open May 24. These carriers have been fighting number portability and trying to get the date put off again. However, they've had plenty of time to get ready and, like many of the major carriers during the first number portability wave which only covered the top 100 metro regions, it appears these smaller rural carriers have procrastinated - knowing that any expensive upgrades were likely only to be used to have people leave them for other providers. Apparently, the FCC meeting will show that many carriers are nowhere near ready for number portability, but (like in November) it's likely that the FCC will move forward with number portability anyway, and will dole out fines to those who haven't gotten their acts together. The most interesting aspect of this is that it may end up killing off a lot of smaller wireless carriers. This is unfortunate, but it's not as if they didn't know these changes to the marketplace were coming.

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