Ofcom have a been undertaking a wide-ranging consultation on a number of areas of regulation in order to reflect new European law due to come into effect in May 2011. Part of this consultation relates to the porting of telephone numbers.
The new European regulations require providers to port phone numbers in one working day. This particularly relates to mobile phone numbers. Their recent report says:
‘Last year, Ofcom concluded that UK mobile customers should be able to transfer their mobile number to a new provider within one working day and this will be effective from 11 April 2011. Under the proposed new regulations, from 25 May 2011 this requirement will also apply to those customers, such as businesses, who want to port a large number of mobile numbers at one time.
For fixed porting, switching providers involves certain additional steps, such as measures to ensure that customers are protected from slamming (where a customer is switched to another provider without their permission). Providers will have to port fixed numbers within one working day but only after these steps have been completed.
Communications providers will also have to offer reasonable compensation to customers following any delay or abuse in porting their number.’
Currently there’s no indication that regulation like this will expand to our area of the industry, where it can take up to 10 days to port a number between service providers. Unfortunately, there is also greater restriction over which service providers you can move your numbers between, but maybe this will expand and the time it takes to port a number will contract to increase the consumer choice and promote competition, which is what Ofcom aim to do.
If you’re interested in porting a virtual number to TTNC, you can find more information on our Porting page.