In the hyper competitive world of wireless, telephone numbers can be ported to competing carriers within hours. Several members of Congress have written the FCC, demanding comparable portability timelines for wireline to wireless number portability. Currently, porting a number from a wireline carrier to a wireless carrier can take up to four business days. To address the issue, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Vice Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) introduced the Same Number Act (S.1769) which would “…require the commission to establish number portability performance standards for all voice service providers.”
RCR Wireless is reporting that members of Congress have written the FCC, urging this issue to be addressed by “month’s end.” FCC Chairman seems to be in agreement, at least in principal. He’s quoted in the RCR article as saying, “I think it would be a good thing for the commission to try to address, to harmonize our local number portability [guidelines] so the amount of time of taking a number from carrier to carrier is shortened and consistent from platform to platform.” The issue adds more fuel to an already ugly fire, from a wireline carrier’s point of view (especially those who don’t have wireless assets). Wireline substitution, in favor of wireless, is the revealing reality of the today’s competitive landscape. Making it even easier and more seamless for consumers to cut the cord makes the implications even more intense.