The CCA Voice - Fall/Winter 2015 - (Page 14)

tHeMe: coNNectiNG WitH tHe cUstoMer Number Portability in a Mobile World By: Dan Boyette, Vice President of Wireless Services, GCI o ur modern communications networks have become the foundation by which we connect with others around the world, and telephone numbers are unique identifiers that facilitate this communication. Telephone numbers have become like fingerprints - after all, everyone knows that to get a hold of Jenny, you need to call 867-5309.1 Consequently, as competitive carriers work to attract potential new subscribers with lower prices and innovative service offerings, it is critical that they be able to guarantee potential customers that they can keep their current telephone number if they switch carriers. Wireless local number portability (LNP), which allows for seamless wirelessto-wireless number porting so that consumers can retain their existing phone numbers when switching wireless carriers, was mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over a decade ago. In practice, however, current restrictions often force individuals to relinquish their mobile phone number when moving to a new geographic area. Or worse, the current rules force a consumer to stick with a carrier that fails to best serve his or her communications needs. Under the FCC's existing LNP rules, individuals can change wireless providers while retaining their existing mobile 14 The phone number only if they remain in the same geographic area.2 In setting up the LNP system, the U.S. was divided into seven geographic regions, with a different contract for LNP services entered into for each of the regions. These regions were created to manage the morass of intercarrier compensation among and between wireless carriers. While there are no technical barriers that would prevent number portability across geographic areas - known as nongeographic number porting, or NGNP - the North American Numbering Council (NANC) now believes a mandate from the FCC is required to implement NGNP. In practice, the current LNP framework inhibits service providers wanting to offer competitive services to consumers and is restrictive to consumers attempting to retain their wireless telephone number when moving. Numerous studies have shown that consumers will not switch service providers if they are required to change their mobile numbers. This stifles competition and restricts consumers' ability to leave a nationwide carrier in favor of competitive carriers that often provide better quality, lower-cost, and more innovative services. Consumers should not be harmed by this kind of competition-stifling policy. Fortunately, there is an opportunity to rectify this problem. The FCC is currently helping to oversee the transition from the current LNP administrator, Neustar, to the new one, Telcordia Technologies, Inc., D/B/A iconectiv. The FCC also recently solicited feedback on a transition plan, allowing consumers and small providers the opportunity to recommend ways to improve the transition process. CCA urged the FCC to seize the transition as an opportunity to ameliorate NGNP Voice * * Fall/Winter 2015 issues, with several consumer groups joining with CCA in its request.3 While the LNPA has been aware of the technical and consumer ramifications of implementing nationwide NGNP for nearly a decade, no concrete steps have been taken to implement nationwide number portability.4 CCA advised the FCC to act on NANC's recommendations and promptly require NGNP. The Commission should act now, as part of the LNPA transition plan, to expand competition for smaller providers and promote a broader range of opportunities for consumers through reduced prices and innovative product and service offerings. As important as telephone numbers were to the Jennies of the 1980s, they are exponentially more important to modern consumers. To enhance consumer choice and further promote competition among carriers, we encourage each and every one of you to join with CCA in asking the FCC to direct the NANC and the LNP administrator to facilitate nationwide, seamless, wirelessto-wireless number portability as soon as feasibly possible. 1 Tommy Tutone, 867-5309/Jenny (Columbia Records 1981); Id. 2 Fed. Communications Comm'n, Guide to Keeping Your Telephone Number When Changing Service Providers (2015), available at 3 Comments of Competitive Carriers Association, the Open Technology Institute at New America, and Public Knowledge, WC Docket No. 07-149, et al. (filed June 1, 2015). 4 North Am. Numbering Council, Local No. Portability Working Grp., Interim Report on Out of LATA Porting & Pooling For Disaster Relief After Hurricane Katrina 1 (Nov. 16, 2005) ("Interim Report").

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The CCA Voice - Fall/Winter 2015

Board of Directors/Staff
Chairman’s Letter by Jonathan Foxman
A Message from the President & CEO by Steven K. Berry
CCA’s 2015 Excellence in Marketing Award Winners
Number Portability in a Mobile World
Mobile Broadband Brings Life-Changing Health Care Benefits to Consumers
WiFi: Keeping Consumers Connected to the Network, to Each Other, and to Your Brand
Spreading the Reach and Range of LTE
It’s a Mobile Life
Regional Carrier Cellular One Competes with the National Players by Taking a Customer-Centric Approach
5G – The Quest for a Wireless Utopia
Connectivity Leads to Smarter Water Management
Connecting with the Customer through POS/Retail Management Systems
Connecting the Mobile Customer through Innovative Roaming Hub Solutions
Building IoT for the Agile Operator
Wireless Hitting a Home Run at the Ballpark
A New Wave in Wireless: Innovative Strategies to Connect the Last Mile
Using LTE Small Cells to Improve the User Experience
What’s Trending in Customer Communications?
Nurturing Customer Connections in a Mobile World
How Multiple Phone Line Management Services Improve the Customer Experience
How Do Small Cells Fit into Wireless Networks?
Connecting with Customers Outside the Cloud
Whether Mobile or Fixed, Emerging or Established Markets, the Holy Grail of Innovation is Service Personalization
New LTE Service Delivery Approach for Rural Carriers
Index of Advertisers
Congressional Spotlight: Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA-14)

The CCA Voice - Fall/Winter 2015