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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

NEWSReport No. CC 97-43 COMMON CARRIER ACTION August 18, 1997

FCC Addresses Number Portability Implementation Issues

(CC Docket No. 95-116)

The Commission has released a Second Report and Order addressing various long-term number portability implementation issues. The Order adopts, with minor modifications, recommendations submitted to the Commission by the North American Numbering Council (NANC). The NANC's recommendations reflect significant, unified efforts by all segments of the telecommunications industry. By adopting these recommendations, the Commission intends to give carriers clear guidelines on long-term number portability implementation before the first phase of number portability deployment begins on October 1, 1997.

The provision of number portability is one of the obligations that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 imposes on all local exchange carriers in order to foster a pro-competitive, deregulatory national policy framework. Congress recognized that number portability will lower barriers to entry and promote competition in the local exchange marketplace by enabling customers to switch to a new local service provider without having to change their telephone numbers. Number portability permits consumers to select a local telephone company based on service, quality, and price, rather than on a desire to keep a particular telephone number.

Among the actions taken in the Order released today:

  • The Commission adopted the NANC's recommendation that seven number portability database regions be established coinciding with the boundaries of the seven original Bell Operating Company (BOC) regions.

  • The Commission adopted the NANC's recommendation that Lockheed Martin IMS and Perot Systems, Inc. serve as the administrators for the regional number portability databases.

  • The Commission adopted the NANC's proposed technical and operational standards for the provision of number portability by wireline carriers, including the requirement that the carrier immediately preceding the terminating local exchange carrier (LEC) be responsible for ensuring that number portability databases are queried. Both the NANC and the Commission found this to be the most efficient and effective method of implementing number portability.

  • The Commission directed the NANC to develop standards and procedures regarding the provision of number portability by commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers.

  • The Commission adopted, on an interim basis, the NANC's recommendation that the regional limited liability companies (LLCs), already established by carriers in each of the original BOC regions, manage and oversee the local number portability administrators, subject to review by the NANC. This interim approach will enable the industry and the Commission to acquire practical experience with number portability implementation and evaluate the performance of the LLCs.

  • The Commission directed the NANC to provide national oversight of local number portability administration. Noting that the NANC's expertise is critical to addressing future issues regarding number portability deployment, the Commission said that parties should first attempt to resolve deployment issues among themselves and, if necessary, under the auspices of the NANC.
  • The Commission directed the creation of a committee to be chaired by the Chief of the Common Carrier Bureau that will oversee number portability deployment in the top 100 markets.

Action by the Commission August 14, 1997 by Second Report and Order (FCC 97-289). Chairman Hundt, Commissioners Quello and Ness and Chong.


News media contact: Rochelle Cohen at (202) 418-0253. Common Carrier Bureau contact: Steven Teplitz at (202) 418-2692.