Thursday, February 02, 2006

Does the FCC Need to Regulate VoIP LNP?

I hate to even bring this topic up because I am generally adverse to government regulation of any type. My recent experience with transferring my number from Vonage to BroadVoice leads me to believe that the FCC needs to step in and mandate a 72 hour maximum to transfer a number from one carrier to another including VoIP. I signed up for BroadVoice’s VoIP service over 90 days ago and completed my local number portability (LNP) request three days after signing up. Within 24 hours, BroadVoice confirmed acceptance of my request. Since then I have not heard a word as to the status of my request. During this time, I have been paying for services from Vonage and BroadVoice negating any potential savings this year. Most customers would not tolerate the time lag and cancel their BroadVoice service. I probably should have as well due to all of the problems that I had with BroadVoice, but they changed CLEC and most of the problems seem to have disappeared.

There is no logical reason why Vonage and XO Communications should take at least 90 days to transfer my number to BroadVoice’s CLEC. The wireless industry was forced by the FCC to solve that problem and maybe so should the VoIP industry. I shudder to even suggest that the FCC should provide some regulation to the VoIP providers, but the length of time it takes to transfer numbers hurts the fledgling VoIP industry. VoIP providers can blame it on the RBOC and CLEC all they want. The customer still sees it as a problem switching to the new service. The FCC had to involve themselves with E-911 before the incumbent carriers started working with VoIP providers. They should do it again for LNP. All carriers whether wireline or wireless, POTS or VoIP should have to complete a number transfer request within 72 hours unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Tags: VoIP, LNP, Vonage, BroadVoice, FCC


  1. I agree that there shouldn't be that long a wait on porting numbers. My question is, in my local state, West Virginia, why is it that some VoIP providers can port some local numbers, and not others. Voicewing by Verizon is available in select areas, at my home it isn't, and my father's house which is 3 miles away it is. We both have the same 3 digit prefix, but it's available at his house and not mine. The same instance it true with another friend and his parents. I just can't see to find an answer on the net.

  2. Don:

    All VoIP providers should be able to port numbers. They don't actually own the number, the CLEC that they contract with to provide a connection to the PSTN owns them. If a number is not portable it is because the VoIP provider's CLEC does not have a presence in that wire center.

    I need more information to know why your father's house cannot subscribe to Voicewing. I assume that you and your father are served from the same wire center since you have the same exchange prefix. Does Verizon offer DSL to your house? My guess is that they do not which would be required to run VoIP over it. That's my first guess. It may be that even though you have the same prefix you are served from different wire centers, but it should have no impact on the delivery of Voicewing as long as they are offering DSL. They typicall backhaul the VoIP traffic to a large central office with the softswitch.


  3. I have been using tringotel business line for the past few months. No major complaints about call quality.

    Lots of great features and very easy to customize. But, there is no way to set up multiple voicemail boxes. You can use an answering machine with multiple boxes instead, but all of the great Voip voicemail features (including wav messages to email) are lost. Lingo and vonage might have the same weakness.