Re: Number Portability: POTS, VoIP, and Cellular

Some VoIP service is offered by companies that are information service

> providers, not telecommunications carriers, such as Vonage. Since > they aren't telecom carriers, they generally don't interconnect > directly with the PSTN and don't get numbers directly from the > numbering administrator (or the pooling administrator). So Vonage et > al don't have numbers of their own in any rate centers. Instead, > Vonage et al. buy numbers from telecom carriers, presumably CLECs, who > obtain numbers from the numbering adminstrator (or the pooling > administrator) in various rate centers. If Vonage has a deal with a > CLEC such as Covad (just using Covad as an illustration; I don't know > whether they have such a deal) to get numbers in a particular rate > center, then numbers in that rate center would be portable to and from > Vonage via Covad; this should be true of wireline and wireless numbers > in that rate center.

I recently ported my Vonage SC issued number over to Carolina Net. There was no problem with it. It now works fine on my Carolina Net provided router (on line 2).

On the other hand, Voicepulse is fighting my porting request for my NC number. They say that because their policy is that you can't port your number away from them (unless you brought the number to them in the first place), that they don't have to release your number. In addition to that, they say that if they are forced by legal means to release your number, that their policy says that you have to pay them a fee for that release.

I have a great deal of trouble understanding how their policy overrules FCC number portability regulations. I've got a complaint filed with the FCC. I never got a copy of the letter that the FCC sent to Voicepulse, but I did get a copy of Voicepulse's reply. They are saying that their policy makes them exempt from having to re-port my number. I haven't heard from the FCC on that yet. I emailed the FCC asking about the status of my complaint a few days ago. The reply was that they haven't read the reply from Voicepulse as yet.

I've had problems with Voicepulse service. They seem unwilling to resolve them. The problems have included quality of transmission, some problems with my voicemail, my phone ringing one time and stopping at some odd hour of the morning (which they admit they were having a technical problem but it went on for quite some time before they got it resolved), and a general lack of interest in getting these problems fixed. I was awakened prematurely on a number of occasions because of this issue.

One of my students is using Voicepulse at home. He called and left a message on my office voicemail and I couldn't even tell it was him because it was so garbled. I thought it was a wrong number until he said his name at the end of the message. When I spoke to him in person later, he confirmed that it was a Voicepulse call to my Verizon phone at the office.

Basically, they are retaining customers because they won't release the numbers. I've got my number published in Verizon directory assistance here in the area. If I drop it, that number will simply be dead and people who are trying to reach me will not be able to. VOIP providers don't put up a 'the number you have reached ... has been changed to ...' recording when you cancel. What does that do to a business that is using their service and becomes dis-satisfied with the service [as I have been] and their numbers are published and their customers wouldn't know how to reach them? Put up with quality problems? Sheesh.


Fred Atkinson

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Fred Atkinson
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