[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 100 (Tuesday, May 26, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 29978-29980]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-12633]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 52

[WC Docket No. 07-244; CC Docket Nos. 95-116, 99-200; DA 14-842]


Local Number Portability Porting Interval and Validation 
Requirements; Telephone Number Portability; Numbering Resource 
Optimization

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission 
(Commission) adopted several recommendations of the North American 
Numbering Council (NANC) pertaining to local number portability (LNP). 
Also, the Commission clarified that, notwithstanding the NANC's 
preference for area code overlays over area code splits, the states 
still have the option to choose the best means of implementing area 
code relief for their citizens.

DATES: Effective June 25, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sanford Williams, Wireline Competition 
Bureau, Competition Policy Division, (202) 418-1580, or send an email 
to sanford.williams@fcc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Order 
in WC Docket No. 07-244; CC Docket Nos. 95-116, 99-200; DA 14-482 
adopted and released on June 20, 2014. The full text of this document 
is available for public inspection during regular business hours in the 
FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room 
CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. It is available on the Commission's Web 
site at http://www.fcc.gov.

I. Order

    1. In this Order, we adopt several recommendations of the NANC, a 
federal advisory committee for telephone number administration, 
pertaining to LNP. The Communications Act defines number portability as 
``the ability of users of telecommunications services to retain, at the 
same location, existing telecommunications numbers without impairment 
of quality, reliability, or convenience when switching from one 
telecommunications carrier to another. This means that customers have 
the ability to keep their telephone numbers if they change service 
providers, with a few exceptions. This process is called telephone 
number ``porting.'' These recommendations all involve changes to the 
LNP ``provisioning flows'' and are intended to improve the telephone 
number porting process. Telephone number porting is accomplished by the 
old and new service providers working together and following a uniform 
set of flow charts, referred to as the ``LNP provisioning flows.'' 
These flows consist of diagrams and accompanying narratives which 
explain the processes service providers follow in specific porting 
scenarios. The recommendations addressed in this Order are changes to 
the narratives that accompany the diagrams.
    2. These improvements include revising existing processes for 
cancelling a number port request, clarifying the timeline for re-using 
disconnected ported numbers, and stopping new service providers from 
prematurely activating ports. Also in this Order, we clarify that, 
notwithstanding the NANC's preference for area code overlays over area 
code splits, the states still have the option to choose the best means 
of implementing area code relief for their citizens. An area code 
``split'' occurs when the geographic area served by an area code is 
divided into two or more geographic parts. An area code overlay occurs 
when a new area code is introduced to serve the same geographic area as 
one or more existing area codes. In both scenarios, callers must dial a 
ten-digit telephone number (three-digit area code, plus seven-digit 
number) to reach end users.

II. Background

    3. In May 2010, the Commission adopted various provisioning flows 
in its LNP Standard Fields Order. However, the Commission recognized 
that industry developments would likely require changes to these flows. 
It also acknowledged that ``the NANC is best situated to monitor the 
continued effectiveness of the provisioning process flows, and make 
recommendations when changes are needed.'' Thus, the Commission decided 
that the provisioning flows adopted in that order would remain in 
effect until the Commission approves revised provisioning flows based 
on recommendations from the NANC. The Commission delegated authority to 
the Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) to approve such 
recommended revisions and directed the NANC to make the revised 
provisioning flows, once approved, available to the public on the NANC 
Web site.
    4. Flows for Cancellations and Disconnections. On January 2, 2013, 
the NANC submitted a letter to the Bureau recommending revisions to the 
provisioning flows for port cancellations, termed by the NANC as the 
``Cancel Flows.'' These flows apply when a customer asks a new service 
provider to port his or her number, and then subsequently decides to 
cancel that request and remain with his or her current provider. The 
customer must notify one of the providers of the cancellation. The NANC 
recommended three revisions to these flows. The first revision 
clarifies the responsibilities of the current and new service 
providers. It states that if the customer contacts the current 
provider, that provider may choose to advise the customer to call the 
new provider to cancel the port request. If the customer contacts the 
new provider, that provider must cancel the port. The second revision 
states that if the current provider decides to cancel the port request, 
it must obtain verifiable authority from the customer, such as a Letter 
of Authorization, dated after the initial port request. The new 
provider must then process the

[[Page 29979]]

cancellation request, even if the current provider does not provide an 
actual copy of the authorization. The third revision outlines the 
different steps to be taken to notify the new provider of the 
cancellation, depending on whether the current provider is a wireline 
or a wireless provider.
    5. In its January 2013 letter, the NANC also recommended deleting 
language in the flow entitled ``Disconnect Process for Ported Telephone 
Numbers.'' That flow applies to ``aging numbers,'' defined by section 
52.15(f)(ii) of the Commission's rules as ``disconnected numbers that 
are not available for assignment to another customer for a specified 
period of time.'' The language to be deleted reads, ``[t]he maximum 
interval between disconnect date and effective release is 18 months.'' 
The NANC proposes to delete this language because it is inconsistent 
with section 52.15(f)(ii) of the Commission's rules, which provides 
that a service provider may not ``age'' disconnected residential 
numbers for more than 90 days and disconnected business numbers for 
more than 365 days.
    6. The Bureau sought comment on these NANC recommendations in May 
2013. In response, the Commission received comments from CenturyLink 
supporting the NANC's recommended revisions to these flows. No 
commenter opposed the recommendations.
    7. Flows and Premature Activation of Ports. On October 17 and 
October 28, 2013, the NANC submitted letters requesting that the 
Commission accept Best Practice 65, which provides that both service 
providers involved in a port must agree to any changes to the original 
due date for that port. According to the NANC letters, there is a 
perceived loophole in the current flows that prompts some new service 
providers to activate ports hours or days before the agreed-to porting 
date and before the old service providers have their networks ready to 
port a number out. These premature port activations can disrupt 
customers' service. The NANC believes it is important that current and 
new service providers coordinate when activating a port, to avoid 
service disruptions. By Best Practice 65, and corresponding 
provisioning flows, the NANC intends to close the perceived loophole 
and stop premature activation of ports.
    8. The Bureau sought comment in December 2013 on the NANC's request 
to accept Best Practice 65 and the corresponding provisioning flows. 
The Commission received comments from CenturyLink and AT&T supporting 
the Best Practice and the corresponding flows, and received no 
opposition to either.

A. Area Code Relief and Number Porting

    9. In its October 17, 2013 letter, the NANC also recommends 
approval of Best Practice 30, which calls for ``All-Services Area Code 
(NPA) Overlays,'' rather than area code splits, as the best solution 
for area code relief. The NANC states that ``NPA Overlays have both 
practical and technical positive implications for customers and service 
providers alike.'' The letter and accompanying attachment explain that 
an overlay avoids the need to synchronize old and new area codes in the 
LNP database to ensure that port requests are completed on time and are 
not misrouted. The NANC notes that area code overlays treat all 
customers the same, allowing them to retain their existing area codes 
and telephone numbers.
    10. The Bureau sought comment on Best Practice 30 in December 2013, 
along with Best Practice 65. CenturyLink and AT&T support Best Practice 
30. Three state agencies express concern about making area code 
overlays mandatory. The state agencies contend that states have the 
greatest expertise regarding the issues facing their citizens and 
should continue to have autonomy to decide whether an area code split 
or an overlay is more appropriate.

III. Discussion

A. LNP Provisioning Flows

    11. We conclude that all of the NANC's proposed revisions to the 
provisioning flows will improve the number porting process for service 
providers and their customers. The flow revisions clarifying the 
process for cancelling port requests will improve communications 
between service providers, and will ensure that port cancellation 
requests are handled properly and without customer inconvenience. The 
change to the disconnection flow will make the disconnection process 
consistent with Commission rules on aging disconnected telephone 
numbers, lessening service provider and customer confusion. Also, Best 
Practice 65 and the corresponding provisioning flows will ensure that 
service providers are in sync when activating a port, thus avoiding 
disruption of service to customers. Therefore, pursuant to the 
Commission's authority over telephone number administration and 
porting, and the authority delegated to the Bureau by the full 
Commission, we adopt the NANC's recommended changes to the LNP 
provisioning flows and require the industry to adhere to them. Pursuant 
to the Commission's 2010 LNP Standard Fields Order, we direct the NANC 
to make these revised provisioning flows available to the public 
through the NANC's Web site.

B. Area Code Relief and Number Porting

    12. The NANC's Local Number Portability Administration (LNPA) 
Working Group has created many Best Practices to facilitate porting 
between service providers. The Bureau appreciates and commends those 
efforts to improve the number porting process. However, we do not, in 
this Order, adopt and codify Best Practice 30. And, we make clear that 
unless the Commission specifically adopts and codifies a Best Practice, 
it is not mandatory. Section 52.19(a) of the Commission's rules gives 
state commissions the discretion to decide how to introduce new area 
codes within their states. Therefore, the states still have the option 
to choose between an area code split or overlay in determining the best 
way to implement area code relief for their citizens.

IV. Procedural Matters

A. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    13. This document does not contain proposed information collection 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 
104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any proposed 
information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer 
than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act 
of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

B. Congressional Review Act

    14. The Commission will send a copy of the Order on Reconsideration 
in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability 
Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 
801(a)(1)(A).

C. Accessible Formats

    15. To request materials in accessible formats for people with 
disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), 
send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental 
Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty). Contact the 
FCC to request reasonable accommodations for filing comments 
(accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CARTS, etc.) 
by email: FCC504@fcc.gov; phone: (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 
(TTY).

[[Page 29980]]

V. Ordering Clauses

    16. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to sections 1, 4(i)-
4(j), 5, 251, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 
47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i)-(j), 155, 251, 303(r), this Order approving the 
North American Numbering Council's recommendation to revise the 
``Cancel Flows'' in the Local Number Portability Provisioning Flows, WC 
Docket No. 07-244, CC Docket Nos. 95-116 and 99-200, is adopted.
    17. It is further ordered that, pursuant to sections 1, 4(i)-4(j), 
5, 251, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 
U.S.C. 151, 154(i)-(j), 155, 251, 303(r), this Order approving the 
North American Numbering Council's recommendation to revise the 
``Disconnect Process for Ported Telephone Numbers'' in the Local Number 
Portability Provisioning Flows, WC Docket No. 07-244, CC Docket Nos. 
95-116 and 99-200, is adopted.
    18. It is further ordered that, pursuant to sections 1, 4(i)-4(j), 
5, 251, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 
U.S.C. 151, 154(i)-(j), 155, 251, 303(r), this Order approving the 
North American Numbering Council's recommendation to accept Best 
Practice 65 and the corresponding revisions to the Local Number 
Portability Provisioning flows, and denying the North American 
Numbering Council's recommendation to accept Best Practice 30, WC 
Docket No. 07-244, CC Docket Nos. 95-116 and 99-200, is adopted.
    19. It is further ordered that this Order shall become effective 30 
days after publication in the Federal Register.

Federal Communications Commission.
Sanford S. Williams,
Assistant Chief, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition 
Bureau.
[FR Doc. 2015-12633 Filed 5-22-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6712-01-P