The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US has cut the time allowed for wireline, mobile and certain VoIP providers to transfer a customer’s existing telephone number to a new provider from four to one business day.

The move will make it easier for consumers to switch voice service providers.

Delays in number porting cost consumers money and hamper the selection of providers based solely on price, quality and service.

Now the FCC is requiring all providers – with the exception of small carriers – to implement the new number porting interval within nine months from the time the Commission receives key input from the North American Numbering Council (NANC).

This is due 90 days after the effective date of the order.

Small carriers have 15 months after the NANC recommendation to implement the new interval.

In a second order, the FCC expanded consumer protections for customers of interconnected VoIP providers.

Interconnected VoIP providers are those whose customers can place calls to and receive calls from the public telephone network.

These providers are now required to notify customers before they discontinue, reduce or impair service, as conventional providers currently must do.

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