This website is dedicated to European telecommunications regulation, but occasionally we will draw attention to major developments outside Europe.

Today's FCC Order imposing number portability, including between fixed and mobile numbers, (as of 24 Nov 2003 in selected areas in the USA) is certainly worth mentioning.

Extract from the FCC's press release:

Today’s Order requires wireline carriers to port phone numbers to wireless carriers in cases where the wireless carrier’s coverage area – the area in which wireless service can be received from that carrier – overlaps the rate center in which the wireline phone number is assigned, provided that the wireless carrier maintains the number’s original rate center designation following the port.

Wireline carriers operating in the 100 largest MSAs must support wireline-to-wireless number porting in accordance with today’s order by November 24, 2003, unless they can demonstrate that complying with these requirements would be technically infeasible. Wireline carriers operating outside the 100 largest MSAs are not required to comply with the order until May 24, 2004, which is the earliest date that wireless carriers serving these areas are required to implement LNP.

The full text of the FCC Order can be downloaded by clicking here.

From the European perspective, it should be noted that this development is facilitated in the USA in no small part as a result of the "called party pays" principle for fixed-to-mobile calls (as opposed to the "calling party pays" principle which is applicable in Europe, and which, under current circumstances and regulation, leads to greatly different retail tariffs for fixed-to-fixed calls compared to fixed-to-mobile calls). Nevertheless, Denmark plans to introduce mobile number portability during the year 2004.