If you’ve wondered if you get to keep your phone number when switching providers, then what you are really asking about is porting. Porting, or more formally, Local Number Portability (LNP), is the process of transferring a phone number from one service provider to another. When switching to a new business phone service, if you want to keep your existing phone number you will need to take action to transfer your phone number(s) from one provider to the other. This is where the process, called ‘porting’, occurs.
Is porting a number legal? Oh yes it is! It is also heavily regulated as well. Number porting is actually mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and also included in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
The customer’s part of porting providing the details of a port and initiating a request with their provider. The provider’s part is working with other providers to complete the port request and updating the customer on the status of the port request.
If you’re planning on switching phone service providers, notify both parties early to understand what your business phone number porting options are. This reduces the likelihood of unexpected changes to your business operations, and gives you time to evaluate alternatives in case a port is not possible. There are a few instances in which a phone number cannot be ported to a new provider. To read more about that, please see our non porting number guide.