Number Portability Comes To VoIP, Vonage Worried?


[qi:086] Vonage (VG) reported its third-quarter earnings today — ho-hum; much of it was bad news we already knew about. They have settled their legal problems with AT&T (T) as well, and so now the company can focus on the future. Vonage founder Jeffrey Citron told Reuters that his focus is going to be addressing customer complaints and improving customer service. Excellent idea, Jeffrey and we support you in this rebuilding of your company.

Because if you don’t, then now your customers can take their Vonage number and go elsewhere. That’s right, the FCC has approved the long rumored “number portability” for VoIP services. I, for one, am about to take one of my VoIP accounts (non-Vonage) and switch it to wireless. A lot of consumers complained about the lack of number portablity when Sun Rocket shut down.


Judi Sohn

It may be official now, but I successfully ported my number from Vonage to Verizon 6 months ago. My home internet pipe just wasn’t wide enough to support VOIP.

It went smoothly, except for that time a few weeks later when Vonage didn’t delete the phone number from their database after I cancelled the service, and they assigned it to someone else. Luckily that Vonage customer had the good sense to try his “new” number out first before giving it to all his friends and it was straightened out quickly.


Can someone suggest a service to port my number to? I’m currently using NetZero Voice which is shutting down next month, but I want to save my number.

Steve Gelmis

As a CLEC founder myself, I can assure you there has never been any technical barrier to number portability for VoIP carriers. They buy their numbers from ILECs and CLECs just like other commercial customers.

However, execution on porting has been a labor intensive manual process, largely due to resistance by the ILECs and to a lesser extent the larger CLECs. Any business model involving a low unit revenue per month was rendered uneconomic if porting was to be supported.

This is yet another case of the upstarts being made to look bad because of obstruction by the majors, upon whose infrastructure all competitors are still dependent.

It’s one reason I hope the proposed * ITAD internet dial plan catches on. The more bypass of the legacy network, the better.

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