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Porting information

Regular Contributor

Porting information

This post is about bringing your phone number from your old carrier to a new carrier, a process known as porting.  This information applies to all carriers.  We hope that this helps you to understand the process and possible issues.


There are many steps that need to be done from the time you order new service to the time your new service is installed:


·          You call in to set up new service with a telephone company.


·          They take your name, address, and the phone number that you want to keep and set up the install work order.


·          The work order is then handled automatically, until the technician knocks on your door.


·          The system sends a request for your number to your previous provider for the date that you are going to be installed.


·          Your former carrier then verifies that the name, address, and phone number match.


·          They then send a receipt of this request back to your new provider.


·          On the day of the installation your new company sends another request saying that they have installed you and have activated your number in their switching equipment; if for some reason the install is not done they notify your old carrier of this.


·          Your former company “releases” your number; you get all your incoming calls.


Depending on your previous provider, this process can take from 3 or 4 days to several weeks to complete.


For the most part this process flows smoothly thousands of times each day across the country for many companies.


Here are some of the variables that can stop or cause a break in this process:


·          The number was disconnected at the former carrier (for any number of reasons).  For example, you called in and told your former carrier you are disconnecting your service, the number was disconnected by you prior to you requesting service, or the account was disconnected for non-payment.


·          The name or address does not match.  For example, the service is under John Jones with the old carrier and John Q. Jones on the new one, or the service is in the husband’s name on the old carrier and the wife’s on the new one.


·          There was a change in household status and the spouse or significant other keeps the number.


·          It is a business account.


·          There is a change being processed on the old account (for example, a calling feature change).


·          You moved to a different part of town. In some cases when you move, your 9-1-1 call will need to route to a different Public Service Answering Point (P.S.A.P.). This will cause a requirement for a number change. Also, your Rate Center may have changed--even though you are not charged for toll and local toll calls with some new telephone service providers, others that are on traditional telephone service may still get charged when they call you.


·          You had an LEC block (sometimes called a freeze) on the old account. This is a feature you can request to prevent unauthorized changes to your local or long distance carrier.


·          For some reason the appointment is missed.


If there is a problem with the porting of your number you may experience one or more of the following;


·          People tell you they called your number and it just rings and rings and no one answers.


·          Calling parties get your old voice mail from your previous carrier.


·          People tell you they tried to call your number but it was disconnected.


In most cases, you will be able to make calls but will not be able to receive them because inbound calls are being routed to your previous company.


To keep the process flowing smoothly we strongly suggest doing the following:


·          Verify your name and address is the same on both the old and the new accounts.  Note that you cannot combine a change of carrier with a move to a new address.  You must either:

·          Install telephone service under your old carrier at the new address and then transfer the number

·          Transfer the number to the new carrier and then move

·          Establish service at the new address with the new provider and a new telephone number.


·          Give the new company a good contact number besides the number that you are porting, ideally a cell phone.


·          DO NOT call your former carrier to disconnect unless your new carrier tells you to.  You can call your old carrier to verify that your service has been disconnected after the day of installation if you wish.


·          Try not to make changes to your installation order (additions to services, different install date). Occasionally, the automated systems will not reroute with the new data and the process will stop.


·          If you have a freeze on your account please call your old company to have just the freeze removed.


·          With some VoIP services, after you are installed with your new company you will need to call them. Vonage, for instance, releases your number but continues billing you until they hear directly from you.


·          If you have a different long distance company you will need to call them to disconnect or verify that the long distance billing is stopped.  Remember to check with your new carrier about long distance calling. With Comcast all of your long distance service to the United States and Canada is included for free.


If you do experience any issues with your transfer of service, you should work with the new provider and they will coordinate with the old one.  New Comcast Digital Voice customers can contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


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