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VoIP Articles  > Porting to VoIP

Porting To VoIP - How Long Will It Take to Port Your Existing Land Line Telephone Number to a VoIP Provider?

By Chris Landry


When you decide to make the leap from telephone long distance service to a VoIP provider, most people want to take their existing telephone number with them to the new VoIP provider. By doing this, the customer doesn’t have to send a note to all of the friends and family to let them know that they are going to be changing their number.  The only problem is that in most cases, it may take a VoIP provider anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks to port your number from the existing telephone company to the VoIP provider.  Conversely, for a wireless-to-wireless transfer, the porting process should take approximately two and a half hours from the time the porting request is made of the old carrier.


The FCC has not mandated a specific time frame for the wireless-to-wireless porting process. Two and a half hours is the time frame agreed upon by the wireless industry, and the FCC encourages carriers to use that time frame.  In time, I would imagine that the FCC put that pressure on  Land Line Telephone service and  the VoIP industry as well to increase the speed in which a Land Line gets provisioned to a VoIP line.


There are many reasons it takes so long, but the biggest reason is that there are so many hands involved with getting the number ported. First of all, most of the VoIP providers lease the phone numbers from larger phone companies. So, they must get the port request for you, then request the number be ported from their leasing company, then the leasing company must in turn request that the number be ported by the existing telephone company. Then to get confirmation of the port back to the customer, the same steps are taken in the reverse. Generally these companies will batch the port requests by waiting to get a significant number of requests before actually placing a request.


You do not need to wait for your number to be ported before your VoIP service will work. The VoIP provider will provide you with a temporary assigned telephone number to use while your existing number is being ported. Generally, it is necessary that you maintain your local telephone service until the porting of your number has taken place.  Also, be sure to fill out the “Porting” information correctly.  Make sure you have put the same exact name, address, and telephone number as is printed on your local phone bill. If this is not done, it could delay the process for weeks.


Porting your telephone number is only one of the things to consider before choosing a VoIP solution.  In fact, there are many things to consider when choosing a VoIP provider. An educated consumer generally results in a satisfied consumer.  You can compare VoIP providers side-by-side at www.voipchoices.com. For more things to consider when choosing a VoIP provider see VoIP - Things to Consider.



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