Support is growing for establishing regulations that would compel significantly shorter porting intervals – the time it takes to switch a local phone number to a competing phone service provider.
Competitors of the incumbents, including Comcast and T-Mobile, have been petitioning for new regulations that would obligate the incumbents to consummate number ports in no more than two days.
The Federal Communications Commission has now made a preliminary determination in support of that position, according to the NCTA, which released a letter expressing cable’s “strong support for the Commission’s tentative conclusion … to shorten the interval for porting wireline telephone numbers to 48 hours.”
Traditionally, incumbent carriers have taken up to four business days, and sometimes longer, to port the number of a departing customer to that customer’s new service. In contrast, cell companies as a matter of course complete the process in hours. Competitors of the incumbents see the current portal interval as an anti-competitive delay.
The FCC agreed in its preliminary conclusion, issued nearly two years ago, but has yet to officially rule on the matter. Competitive phone service providers are pressuring the new FCC regime to revisit the matter.