Keep Your Existing Phone Number

Communication is a lifeline for a business, so for many established businesses it is important to be able to keep your existing phone number(s) when switching phone service providers. Luckily, there is something called Local Number Portability (LNP), often referred to as simply "number porting", which allows phone service providers to be able to "port" an existing phone number over to their service.

Phone Number Porting

So phone number porting allows Cabertel to be able to transfer your existing phone number(s) held by your existing phone service provider over to us. This is required so we can route your incoming calls to your phone system. Most phone numbers fall under the FCC requirement to be "portable". There are still some phone numbers owned by rural wireline service providers who may obtain waivers for the porting requirement from state authorities, and therefore are not portable. These occurrences are typically rare but can happen. At Cabertel we ask for your phone numbers that you want to keep up front so we can verify they are portable.

Even though we live in the modern digital world the number porting process can still take anywhere from days to weeks to process. Some of this is dependant on the existing service provider, the available paperwork, and the details you provided matching the information on file. At Cabertel we typically request 10 days out for porting phone numbers. This gives ample time for your phones to arrive and time for you to set them up, test them out, and familiarize yourself with the new phones. You can also request a specific date if you have a planned switch over. For example, you may have planned a switch over for the start of the next month. We can request the specific day you require. The only requirements for this are that it is at least 10 days out and falls on a week day and not a holiday (ports still do not occur on weekends or holidays).

Below we will discuss the number porting process along with some of the common issues that can cause delays in the process.

Number Porting Process

Here is the Cabertel number porting process for your information:

  1. Your account manager will send you a Letter of Authorization (LOA) form to complete or you can download it here.
  2. Once completed you email it back to your account manager. *
  3. Cabertel submits the number port request on your behalf and selects a date 10 days out as the preferred port date.

* We also request you send a copy of your last bill via email to facilitate a smoother port process. Alternatively you can request a Customer Service Record (CSR) from your existing provider and send us a copy of that via email.

Once Cabertel receives a confirmation date for the number port your account manager will email you with the details.

Even though number porting can take 10 days the phone number only switches over to our services on the confirmed porting date. Up to the porting date your incoming calls will continue to go through your existing phone service provider.

On the day of porting the number can switch at anytime during that day, although typically it happens during the morning hours. You may come into work and find your incoming calls being received on your existing phones and then at some point they start coming into your new Cabertel service phones. It is literally like a switch over, although there can be some latency through all networks.

IMPORTANT: Please do NOT cancel your existing phone service UNTIL AFTER all your phone numbers have completed porting to Cabertel. Otherwise you stand a good chance of losing your phone numbers.

Reasons For Number Porting Delays

Even though we typically aim for 10 days when submitting a number port request there can be issues that cause a delay. The reason for the delay is that the existing provider can deny the port request if any information is missing or incorrect. Then there is time related to customer communication to get the relevant information, followed by resubmitting the request. Below are some of the more common issues that can slow the process down.

  • Some providers may require extra information like account numbers, PIN numbers etc. and will reject the port request if not provided. Providing a copy of your bill or CSR will help reduce these issues.
  • If any part of the address on the LOA form does not match the address information on file the port will be rejected. This can be an issue if the business has changed location at some point and not updated, or the address was originally incorrectly setup on the account.
  • If you have DSL high speed service with an existing phone service the provider may have put a "freeze" on the phone line. In this case you will need to contact them to remove the freeze before the phone number can be ported. This can take a few days to be removed.
  • Cancelling your existing phone service before your numbers have completed porting will jeopardize the number porting process.

Final Thoughts

The number porting process has only been around since the 1990's but it allows the consumer to be able to switch phone service providers and keep their existing phone number. The process is relatively straight forward but it can take around 10 days typically.

We also noted some reasons that can delay number porting emphasizing the importance of submitting the exact matching information that is on file with your current provider.

And lastly, but most important of all, do NOT cancel your existing phone service until after your phone numbers have completed porting to Cabertel. If you have any questions please contact us using the form below.

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