Networking

Number Portability

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Executive Summary

In the context of traditional circuit-switched telecommunications networks, number portability is the ability of end-users to retain their telephone numbers when changing service providers, service types or locations. It is believed that when fully and nationally implemented by both wireline and wireless service providers, number portability will remove one of the most significant switching costs for consumers and will encourage competition in the telecommunications industry. With the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress addressed the issue of number portability by formally defining it, setting deadlines for implementation, and requiring all carriers to deploy it. To ensure standardization across platforms for all participants, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) instructed the North American Numbering Council (NANC) to determine which number portability method to employ.

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