Im trapped in the phone number 'port over' delay

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    Apr 07, 2016 7:55 PM GMT

    jesus h christ, I changed ISP's and now I have to go through customer (manual) land line phone, port over process, new to me, while I already have the new ISP in place, using their equipment, I cant cancel my previous ISP service until the port over process is complete. 4 days now! icon_evil.gif

    The old ISP, better give me credit or refund for these port over days not using their service or equipment, this just pisses me off! icon_evil.gif


    Why is your number port taking so long?
    https://blog.flowroute.com/2014/04/16/why-is-your-number-port-taking-so-long/

    On first thought, moving your phone numbers from provider to provider seems like a simple idea. But in reality, it’s a process with a lot of complication behind the scenes. In order for your number to port in a timely manner, the whole shebang has to go right.

    The FCC is on your side. The FCC recognizes that, “Delays in number porting cost consumers money and impede their ability to choose providers based solely on price, quality and service.” It’s the reason portability was introduced in the first place. The intentions are good. But as with anything, there is a process that isn’t always perfect. Here’s why it sometimes isn’t. It starts way back in history. To understand how porting works, and what the process entails, you first need to understand the system porting was invented to work with - the POTS network of yore.

    Phone numbers are maps. The phone number system was set up to be meaningful in terms of provider. First operators, then automated switches, knew where to send calls based on number codes. The area code would get the call to the correct regional switching station. The next three numbers, the “exchange”, took the call down to the physical switch level. And the four numbers at the end, the numbers assigned to your carrier, got the call to your line at your physical home or business address as directed by the exchange. It’s a system invented before people had the wizard-like ability to take phones anywhere. A time when knowing where to send calls was easy because most calls were staying on the same massive monopolistic network.

    Number portability breeds competition. The FCC was right to set phone numbers free upon the breakup of AT&T. Keeping your number was a powerful motivation for loyalty. It would be near impossible for new phone companies to grow if they could only sell service to people getting a phone for the first time, or those willing to go through the headache of changing the phone number they’ve had for 2.5 decades. As it solved one problem, the idea of number portability raised another. How could numbers be found if they were no longer organized based on catalogued number assignments? Unless the catalogue was somehow updated in real time, calls would show up at the originally assigned provider’s switch and be told, “that number don’t work here no more” before being dropped like a moldy hot potato.

    How numbers move. The Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC) has the answer. Local Number Portability (LNP) was made possible by the creation of an additional numbering system, Location Routing Numbers (LRN), a unique 10-digit telephone number assigned to a switch (there can be multiple LRNs on the same switch). As NPAC describes the invention of the LRN system, “It allowed the existing routing paradigm to remain in place, permitting a gradual conversion of the network to handle LNP traffic.” So now the switch that serviced a number originally can be much more helpful and point a call toward the new host switch. So that’s how and why number portability works.

    But what’s the process? NPAC lays it out succinctly: The new service provider notifies the old service provider of the requested port. The old service provider is asked to validate the subscriber's information. The old service provider confirms the subscriber's information and notifies the new service provider. (Note: this is where the process gets caught in a loop if the subscriber information submitted isn’t right.)The new service provider notifies the NPAC of the requested port. The NPAC creates a pending port and sends a notification to the old service provider. Optionally, the old service provider notifies the NPAC that it concurs with the port. The new service provider notifies the NPAC to activate the port. The pending port is activated in the NPAC and broadcast to the telecommunications industry network within milli-seconds. Yeah, eight steps. Looks straightforward, but each step is a potential snag. I talked to the Flowroute Number Porting team (yes, we have a Number Porting Team) to find out where ports are typically held up. Even though much of the process is automated, there are people, and entire organizations, involved along the way. And those people and organizations can cause bottlenecks.

    Here’s the hold up. According to NPAC, “if there are no errors or issues with validations, and it is a simple port, the FCC has mandated that the request be completed within one business day.” That deadline applies to all simple ports, including “intermodal” ports such as wireline to wireless, wireless to wireline, wireline or wireless to VoIP or any other combination. But the important distinction is the word “simple.” The FCC says, “Simple ports generally do not involve more than one line or more complex adjustments to telephone switching equipment.” So if you’re porting more than one number or one number from a pool of others, it’s not a simple port. And how do you define “more complex adjustments”? This definition makes it easy for losing carriers to define what’s simple and what isn’t. And it turns out, most ports aren’t simple. A lack of “simplicity” is the number one factor holding up number ports. Many carriers establish arbitrary “rules” around their porting process. Typically these rules revolve around release date. When your new service provider submits the request to port to your losing service provider they’re at the mercy of the LSP’s response policy. Some carriers we’ve had the pleasure of working with ‘require’ 20 days to process port requests. And then while we’re waiting patiently for that response, the information attached to the porting number, your Customer Service Record (CSR), is being scrutinized to make sure you have the authority to port your number, and avoid erroneous porting - for which carriers can be subject to heavy FCC fines. If there’s a mismatch in your CSR data it’s usually, and so conveniently, reported by the losing carrier right before the day the port is expected.
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    Apr 08, 2016 4:25 AM GMT
    Years ago, I had one of my ISDN numbers ported to my cell phone. The phone company delayed for something like four months, and billed me for every day of it. They are a total criminal enterprise. Sure, you could sue them over a few hundred bucks, but who will?

    Flash forward 15 years, and I've cut the land-line completely and gone to Vonage for my business phone. CenturyLink was slamming me so hard, what the sales rep said was going to cost me $79 a month was costing upward of $300. But now the phone company apparently has a monopoly on the local phone numbers and refuses to port my business number at all. I can't even get a new one in the same area code. Just have to abandon the old number and keep sending out "newsletters" to remind customers of the new number. Well, at least the telemarketers will be left behind. Now, a live human has to listen to the menu options and press the right number to get through.
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    Apr 08, 2016 5:54 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidYears ago, I had one of my ISDN numbers ported to my cell phone. The phone company delayed for something like four months, and billed me for every day of it. They are a total criminal enterprise. Sure, you could sue them over a few hundred bucks, but who will?

    Flash forward 15 years, and I've cut the land-line completely and gone to Vonage for my business phone. CenturyLink was slamming me so hard, what the sales rep said was going to cost me $79 a month was costing upward of $300. But now the phone company apparently has a monopoly on the local phone numbers and refuses to port my business number at all. I can't even get a new one in the same area code. Just have to abandon the old number and keep sending out "newsletters" to remind customers of the new number. Well, at least the telemarketers will be left behind. Now, a live human has to listen to the menu options and press the right number to get through.




    This 'self directed' 'self authorized' porting process is new to me. I had to go through a voice response system, yes or no answers, authorizing the old ISP to let the new ISP have my current phone number. I've had my current land line phone number for 13 years and switched phone carrier at least 4 times, this was the first time I have experienced this 'new' FCC mandated process.

    I suppose in the past, many land line phone carriers were reluctant to give up control of the phone number when a customer wanted to switch carriers. It would appear the FCC stepped in, I am sure from public complaints, to force the carriers to not hide their process. Therefore, the customer who wants to switch, must now participate in the change over process

    Vonage, not part of any bundle or ISP, advertises, "switching is easy". This would probably be a bit of false advertising, since I now understand this process, there is nothing easy about the port over process, just appears to be another governmental elephant in the living room problem. Much like the local government utility pole issue versus the ISP access to these poles icon_idea.gif



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    Apr 08, 2016 7:46 AM GMT
    I tell people that need a landline, don't give up the copper. If the power goes out, then your phone goes out. Or until your battery backup goes out. Also, this number porting thing seems like a hassle.
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    Apr 08, 2016 1:44 PM GMT
    keep things simple:
    dump your 1960's land line, too expensive. I live in a rural area but the power never really goes out completely here. if it does ill charge the cell phone from the car/tractor/pickup/motorcycle.

    install google talk thingy or equivalent on your computer
    -back up if your cell phone gets damaged lost...
    -google is free, work well, last a long time

    install some sort of SMS text manager on your computer
    -backup if your cellphone gets damaged lost...
    -Apple's Messages & iCloud are free, work well.

    most cell phones handle email extremely well.

    once a year everyone should cycle their credit cards, passwords and yes your phone number. There are like 50+ ways to locate people these days and a phone# is not one of them. No one remembers phone numbers, likely not even your own number.

    at some point in the day you have to order take out and un-plug for a while. get your people used to the fact that your household is not 240-7.
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    Apr 08, 2016 5:23 PM GMT
    The power goes out here a lot. Cell phones go down because the cell towers use power. Land-lines go out because the new digital switches (there is one at the junction by my driveway) use power. Until someone drives up the mountain and sets up a generator. Sometimes they leave their generator sitting there for months after that. They should have just built it into the shack.
    Sometimes the fiber optic trunk gets cut by a backhoe or something and everything goes down. Except satellite phone, if you've got one. And ham radio (HF only... The VHF repeaters use power.).
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    Apr 08, 2016 7:12 PM GMT
    Here in the UK, when you change your landline/internet/phone provider, the new provider is legally required to do all the work and simply informs your old provider of the switch-over date, after which it all happens automatically (including your phone number being ported over). I did it recently and all I had to do is unplug the old provider's internet hub and plug in the new one. There was no loss of service. This ease of switching between providers encourages competition and keeps charges down.
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    Apr 09, 2016 6:59 AM GMT
    pellaz saidkeep things simple:
    dump your 1960's land line, too expensive. I live in a rural area but the power never really goes out completely here. if it does ill charge the cell phone from the car/tractor/pickup/motorcycle.

    install google talk thingy or equivalent on your computer
    -back up if your cell phone gets damaged lost...
    -google is free, work well, last a long time

    install some sort of SMS text manager on your computer
    -backup if your cellphone gets damaged lost...
    -Apple's Messages & iCloud are free, work well.

    most cell phones handle email extremely well.

    once a year everyone should cycle their credit cards, passwords and yes your phone number. There are like 50+ ways to locate people these days and a phone# is not one of them. No one remembers phone numbers, likely not even your own number.

    at some point in the day you have to order take out and un-plug for a while. get your people used to the fact that your household is not 240-7.




    I would miss my cordless phones in my home and in my two rooms. While the land line is extremely reliable, great signal strength, cell phone reception is always iffy, even in your own home. Continual, rechargeable, cordless phone batteries will last at least 3-4 years before you replace them, talk time upto 5-6 hours on a full charge. Cell phone battery charge (talk time) is limited to 2-4 hours per use then you must recharge. Not sure the shelf life of a cell phone battery, but my 2 year old cell phone will need a new rechargeable battery soon, its only holding about 3 hours of usage before dying. icon_confused.gif

    mqdefault.jpg



    My phone service, port over was completed today! It took 4 days, so I asked my previous ISP to give me credit for these days since I was not using their equipment or service in those days of 'waiting for port over'. I should know in a few weeks when the old ISP mails me a check for the, pre-paid months balance.
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    Apr 09, 2016 5:29 PM GMT
    xrichx saidI tell people that need a landline, don't give up the copper. If the power goes out, then your phone goes out.

    Except that you're very likely to have a cordless phone, which will also go dead when the power goes out.

    I switched to Voipo for my land line; it's voice over ip and uses my internet. They have excellent service for both residential and business, although I haven't used them for business. I guess I got lucky, my porting of my old land line number (Pacific Bell or AT&T, I can't remember) to Voipo was easy and painless.
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    Apr 09, 2016 5:37 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    xrichx saidI tell people that need a landline, don't give up the copper. If the power goes out, then your phone goes out.
    Except that you're very likely to have a cordless phone, which will also go dead when the power goes out.
    I switched to Voipo for my land line; it's voice over ip and uses my internet. They have excellent service for both residential and business, although I haven't used them for business. I guess I got lucky, my porting of my old land line number (Pacific Bell or AT&T, I can't remember) to Voipo was easy and painless.

    Rich, are you still using one of these?

    RotaryPhone1.jpg

    I wonder if I still have mine. Years ago I bought one that had had its cord updated to use the little RJ jack.
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    Apr 09, 2016 7:11 PM GMT
    the concept of HAVING to talk to a random person because they want you to is odd
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    Apr 09, 2016 9:09 PM GMT
    I kept an old-style phone plugged in for years, until it stopped working. It was inside some desk that I bought from a government sale and it had a big warning printed on it: "Do Not Discuss Classified Information On This Telephone!"
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    Apr 10, 2016 8:10 AM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    xrichx saidI tell people that need a landline, don't give up the copper. If the power goes out, then your phone goes out.
    Except that you're very likely to have a cordless phone, which will also go dead when the power goes out.
    I switched to Voipo for my land line; it's voice over ip and uses my internet. They have excellent service for both residential and business, although I haven't used them for business. I guess I got lucky, my porting of my old land line number (Pacific Bell or AT&T, I can't remember) to Voipo was easy and painless.

    Rich, are you still using one of these?

    RotaryPhone1.jpg

    icon_lol.gif

    I wonder if I still have mine. Years ago I bought one that had had its cord updated to use the little RJ jack.

    I don't have any old phones. I had a compact wired phone that I had back when I had DSL. Only used it to test the line. When I switched to fiber, I think I gave that phone away.
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    Apr 10, 2016 10:34 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    xrichx saidI tell people that need a landline, don't give up the copper. If the power goes out, then your phone goes out.
    Except that you're very likely to have a cordless phone, which will also go dead when the power goes out.
    I switched to Voipo for my land line; it's voice over ip and uses my internet. They have excellent service for both residential and business, although I haven't used them for business. I guess I got lucky, my porting of my old land line number (Pacific Bell or AT&T, I can't remember) to Voipo was easy and painless.

    Rich, are you still using one of these?

    RotaryPhone1.jpg

    I wonder if I still have mine. Years ago I bought one that had had its cord updated to use the little RJ jack.


    I love old phones. I remember my grandma having one of these (they can still be adapted to work on modern UK landlines).

    antique_telephones.jpg

    I remember when we moved to a new house in 1973, having to wait 3 months for the privilege of getting a new phone line installed by the General Post Office (who had the monopoly in those days).
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    Apr 10, 2016 11:02 PM GMT
    I like the little pull out drawer at the bottom for the phone numbers.