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jduffy
Premium
join:2006-08-20
Cincinnati, OH
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Vonage
·net2phone
·Cincinnati Bell
·Skype
·Callcentric
·ooma

[General] Porting Out a Number if VOIP Provider OOB

I am curious as maybe some of you in the industry may know the answer to this question. If a VOIP provider were to suddenly go out of business, can you still port your number away from them to some other provider or did you just lose your number. That is my concern with VOIP providers. I remember well the SunRocket crash and the almost closing of Vonage. I have a home office and use CallCentric as a back-up extra service. But with Time Warner's rates going up and up, I'm in the process of moving my home number to Ooma, and would like to move my office number to CallCentric. But I have had these numbers for years and do not want to lose them.

Thanks in advance for any information on this.

Duffy
--
Atheists swear there is no Heaven, but pray there isn't a Hell.

nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
Yes you can still port your number. One older known case in point is Sunrocket.
Just to make things easier even if all your VOIP transactions are done online save a copy of a bill and billing info etc. and account info locally. If they do go under overnight you will still have a copy of all the info you need to port.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
Reviews:
·AcroVoice
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw
reply to jduffy
Carriers are typically understanding in this situation. Your best bet is to port immediately when you find out the problem.

I remember one case in which a service provider owed its supplier a great deal of money. In that case, the supplier refused to allow ports, but they did allow the customers to sign directly with them.

Iscream
Premium
join:2009-02-17
New York, NY
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
In a carrier's world it's called a "blanket" porting.

The only thing required in this case - it's a customer's consent (not even necessarily written - an oral is enough in this case) to use one's services.

When SunRocket went down (not many remember or even knew, back then, that a real one - Tier-1 carrier went belly up at almost the same time, just one month later - that was PacWest who left _millions_ lines, across its national footprint, suspended in air with less than 3 weeks warning) Callcentric had ported, within a matter of 3 days, a large number of DIDs in two batches - one from SunRocket and another one from PacWest networks.

Most customers had not noticed being ported (for DIDs which were with PacWest prior to that) from one carrier to another one.

It's a "normal" daily routine when Callcentric internally ports-out-and-then-in DIDs from one underlying carrier to another one when there are either any loading or noise or routing issues with inbound calls to one or a group of DIDs in some NPA-NXX area with a particular carrier.

I'm not sure about _any_ VoIP provider's ability to easily perform internal ports among different carriers, but most real ones certainly can (requires inter-carrier-switch porting agreements and NPAC/Neustar contract - routinely achieved by CLEC or/and IXC licensed and operational carriers) port-in-out in case of any troubles or emergencies.

In case of Toll Free number porting the procedure is even simpler because the only thing required from a provider then - it's to be a RespOrg (better in addition to already being an interconnected xLEC or IXC, but not required/enforced) - the TF numbers are moved (called "released") among RespOrgs within a matter of seconds - any periods longer than seconds are required by "human" operators who work much slower than software provisioning procedures. Literally 1000s TF numbers can be ported within one button click, in case of troubles with their existing RespOrg.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to jduffy
We have never had a problem porting in from providers who went out of business - even months after they were gone. I've never heard of anyone losing their number due to this, so probably not an issue. (never say never, but track record has been good so far!)

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·localphone.com
reply to Iscream
Wonder whether you or anyone else has an answer to this :
According the FCC statements, carriers cannot refuse a port out if the customer does not pay the port out fee. But interestingly, Google Voice charges a port out fee and they will not start with the port unless the CC information has been provided. Any thoughts about the legality of this?

Iscream
Premium
join:2009-02-17
New York, NY
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
First of all - Google is _NOT_ a telecom carrier therefore they are not under FCC's (or state's public utility commission) control nor obligated even to report to or anything else like that.

According to FCC's own definition - Google is NOT even an interconnected VoIP provider. Therefore, again, Google doesn't have to follow anything it considers as not related to its own business.

Third - the port in and port out - do actually cost the carriers money. How much - it's another question and an answer to it depends on many variables, but that IS the costly process. Therefore I very well understand Google there.

For the same reason Callcentric doesn't allow port-out of its NY Free DIDs - because it costs and because there are lots of people attempting to "harvest" good numbers [especially for free] and then get them out. And, as a matter of fact, it's a normal business practice to protect valuable resources. In case of NY Free DIDs - those formally belong to underlying CLEC's wholesale customer (registered with and being billed to), they are not registered on user's behalf - they don't have monthly billing nor payment receipts, they're simply allowed to be used with a clearly defined disclaimer - therefore they cannot [legally, according to FCC rules] be ported out. Google utilizes the same principle here. B/w - Callcentric considers assigning some reasonable port-out fee in order to allow porting out its free DIDs.

Regarding the FCC's statements - the number (a DID) must be in a "good standing and provide proper signaling" prior being considered for porting out. Unless a customer paid all required fees - the number cannot be considered as being in a "good standing" - this fact can always have some documentary proof.

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·localphone.com
My question was only about Google voice but you mentioned an interesting issue-the free NYC DIDs from Callcentric. First of all, the " good standing" obviously does not apply to the port out fees itself. So, here would be the interesting question whether Callcentric was able to charge port out fees for the NYC free numbers. A more elegant solution would be IMHO to move the customer to a paid plan for a minimum period of time( like with regular DID's) and then allow the free port out without creating a potential problem.
The other thing is- I consider it a hearsay because I only read it on a different forum- that FCC forced GV to connect/forward to all numbers and exchanges rather than dropping the expensive ones. Any thoughts?

Iscream
Premium
join:2009-02-17
New York, NY
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
I don't think that the above statement (about FCC's "enforcing" Google) is correct or even true at all. Rather an opposite is true.

But because I'm limited in capabilities to verify - I cannot put a bet on it. Google is a huge corporation, having large impact on world's economics, politics and even development (which includes both) hence one may never know what compromises were made on both sides (gov-execs vs. corp-execs) to get a 1GigE fiber to go through - just to name one "deal".

Regarding Free DIDs - Callcentric just doesn't have ANY single reason, even for a fee, to allow its numbering space to go away (some people may wander - why, but that's another story).

Goggle's situation is a bit "simpler" in this case - they don't have (own) those numbers - they get them for free from carriers in order to mutually explore an incoming revenue sharing model plus additional [huge] room for advertising - this is an actual Google's business model.

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL
As a purely theoretical question from a non NY resident-I somebody wanted to convert his free NYC Callcentric DID to a regular DID, could he simply keep it or would he have to switch to another NYC DID?

Iscream
Premium
join:2009-02-17
New York, NY
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
You don't have to "switch" - you may use both at the same time (an account allows multiple products used simultaneously). But the NY Free DID cannot be "converted" to a paid product at this time (no, there are no yet plans to do so - just in case ).

druber

join:2000-04-11
Stow, MA
reply to jduffy
Speaking of going OOB, several years back I had dabbled with voipjet and hadn't even thought of them for I don't know, 4 years? Yesterday I got a paypal refund from them for $8.23 for my existing credit, as part of their 'shutting the doors'. Woo hoo! Christmas comes early baby!!!

PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to cell14
said by cell14:

According the FCC statements, carriers cannot refuse a port out if the customer does not pay the port out fee. But interestingly, Google Voice charges a port out fee....

Aside from all the points that Iscream made, I believe that Google Voice calls this an unlocking fee. It's the same as a POTS carrier removing a PIC freeze.

Also, because the fee is just 3 dollars, I don't think the FCC would get particularly upset.

--------------------------

By contrast, some Fax companies have VERY harsh policies and even deny you permission to port out. Because they are Fax companies, they don't have to let you port.

»[MyFax / eFax] $500 if you port out, AND we'll take it back!

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·localphone.com

1 edit
Well, even in the big corporate heaven of 21st century USA, I do not think that the" unlocking fee" would fly.
Additionally, you can port out free of charge numbers you ported in to GV.
So I do not think I would personally bother to start a brawl even if it was possible. Those $ 3 are a good deal for a DID of your liking.



jduffy
Premium
join:2006-08-20
Cincinnati, OH
reply to PX Eliezer7
As an FYI, if you paid to port your number into Google Voice, then they do NOT charge you any fee to port out that same number.
--
Atheists swear there is no Heaven, but pray there isn't a Hell.