One of the most common concerns that people have when switching to VoIP is whether they can port over their existing phone number. Can someone keep their existing phone number when switching to VoIP? Fortunately, the answer is yes but there are exceptions. The ability to use your existing phone number, when transferring from one provider to another, is called “number portability”. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made sure of the number porting availability by issuing a ruling that VoIP service providers should provide a phone number portability option to their clients. Clients can have phone number portability as long as they live in the same geographical area, and with VoIP, the number portablity options are far more extended.
Transferring or porting your phone number from a traditional telephone landline system is usually and in most cases possible. However, the process may take some time. It is also important to note that there are some providers that require a fee to have phone number portability. So if you plan on porting over your old phone number to your new service provider, be sure to ask if there are any associated fees.
You should not cancel your current telephone service with your current provider until you have contacted your new provider. Your new provider will need to know your account information from your current provider in order to successfully and quickly port over your phone number. By providing a billing statement, it ensures that your account information needed to port your phone number is correct.
Complications arise when you move to another location. In a legal sense, you are the owner of your own phone number. You have the rights to port your phone number anywhere. However, if you move to another location/region, and need to change service providers, you may encounter issues with porting your existing number due to the location.
Once you start an account with a VoIP provider, your phone number is owned by the VoIP provider and it is not portable. If you wanted to change a VoIP provider, you could not use the same number. The reason for this is that the VoIP provider is the one leasing the number from a telecommunications service provider. In legal terms, your phone number is registered to the VoIP provider’s name.
Be sure to thoroughly consult with your new VoIP service provider to make sure that your phone number is portable, and the detailed process involved. Ask information on how to port your phone number and what are the possible issues or concerns when porting your phone number to a VoIP provider.