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Porting numbers, or taking an existing phone number and transferring it to another provider, isn’t exclusive to consumers. Businesses do it frequently. That’s why the term Local Number Portability (LNP) was coined with the signing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

LNP gives consumers and businesses a way to separate from their current communications provider amicably and empower them to choose another while keeping their original phone number.

In the same year that LNP started, the Numbering Portability Administration Center (NPAC) was founded, which wholly supported the implementation of LNP in the US and later, Canada. It’s a large database that stores number information and performs functions such as data administration, mass changes, billing, and auditing.

Now, more than two decades later, many companies provide a way to port numbers, namely within the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) space. Let Sherweb help.


Learn how a full UCaaS solution will help you sell so much more than phones to your customers.


Porting Logistics

As businesses continue to modernize their workforce and their resources, popularity for VoIP services increased. Today, companies with a heavy sales force or customer service component can send their voice, video, and data communications through their internet connection instead of typical landlines. Thus, the elevated desire to port those numbers over to a present-day system.

To reiterate, porting numbers is only available for customers in North America and Canada with the help of the NPAC. The porting process usually takes one to two weeks to finalize, and that’s if all the information requested is given to the new provider. All the details from the original account must be passed over to the new one.

A customer service record (CSR) is one crucial documents that may be requested for the porting process. It’ll provide the new provider with important information regarding the business’s account, such as phone numbers, activity history, account numbers, and other details. Providing this in the most accurate way possible helps validate the information between the switch and billing systems.

Our onboarding team is available for all questions and concerns during the process because white glove service is the standard for handling porting requests. Project managers handle each case individually from the beginning of the porting request to the final onboarding process.

It’s easy to get frustrated during this meticulous process. But beware, missing information can result in a port failure. And it happens more than you’d think. Statistics show that about 50% of requests have to be resent 2 to 4 times before being processed. Luckily, Sherweb can do a conference call with the old provider and client to resolve any missing data, so the scheduled port-in date is rectified.

Ultimately, the old provider controls the port date. Once a FOC, or firm order commitment, is received, a port date can be confirmed with the customer.


Possible Mishaps in Porting

When a business moves due to lease expiration, relocation, or any other circumstance, they no longer have to worry about losing their number with their VoIP service. There’s porting for that too! It’s as simple as taking your VoIP equipment and plugging it into the new place (as long as it’s still local).

One of the biggest mishaps with porting business numbers is customers canceling the number before they move, thinking it will be easier to request the number again with a new provider. That is a misconception. Canceling the number before it’s been ported is like letting it go. Do not do this. The new provider handles all the logistics for you.


Important and Miscellaneous Features

When porting business numbers, the new provider sometimes gives consumers a few options to make their experience unique. Some providers give customers the ability to change their outgoing caller ID, as well as get a virtual number with a local or international area code.

Emergency call routing is an essential function, and the porting process must be thorough about setting it up. Often, providers transfer a phone number from a physical system to a virtual one, so the emergency address needs to be appropriately selected. Knowing the customer’s physical address will have a huge impact when calling emergency services.


Wrap up

Porting numbers for VoIP services empower customers to choose which provider they want to use for their communication. It can be a meticulous process but has great rewards. Speak to a Sherweb representative to learn more about how we can help with your porting needs.



Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb