Bandwidth Porting Guide

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Molly Katolas

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Welcome to Bandwidth Porting!

For step-by-step video tutorials on how to port numbers into Bandwidth, check out our Learning Lab!

Number porting, also known as LNP (Local Number Portability), is an important service offering at Bandwidth. Depending on the carrier, the process for number porting can be simple and easy, or lengthy and complex. Bandwidth’s mission is to provide the easiest and best experience possible, but it requires cooperation from all parties involved to achieve success. This LNP guide was put together with these goals and challenges in mind so that it can be a useful tool to help guide customers through the porting process as smoothly as possible.

Understanding Number Porting

Porting Types and Time Frames

LOA & Documentation Policy

Customer Service Record Policy

Common Rejections

Order Activation (Day of FOC)

“SUPP” Requests

Order Cancellation Requests

Short Notice FOC

Expedites Requests

Porting away from Bandwidth

Unauthorized Porting – aka: “Slamming”

Bandwidth Service Levels in the Porting Process

Customer Responsibilities in the Porting Process

When to open a ticket

 

Understanding Number Porting

Number portability is required to be performed by local exchange carriers (LECs) and Interconnected VoIP providers in accordance with rules and procedures established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). However, within the structure of the FCC requirements, carriers may have individualized systems and processes for handling porting activity. Thus, while carriers’ LNP operations are largely similar and intended to accomplish the same end results, there are unique differences in processes and procedures from one to the next. Some of these unique differences are what can make or break an easy LNP process. At the outset, here are some basic rules of thumb to follow that work for the vast majority of all port requests: 

 

Do not disconnect services with current carrier

The authorized End User (EU) of a number should never disconnect services with their current carrier prior to submitting a port request. Disconnected or inactive numbers cannot be ported. In fact, in order for porting to occur most smoothly, EUs generally should not inform their current provider that they intend to transfer their service to a new carrier. The EU may, however, contact their carrier to attempt to obtain documentation of their account or the Customer Service Record (CSR), which is described more fully below. The end user will also want to make sure there are no freezes that would prevent porting activity on the current account, and be sure to have any applicable PINs, passwords, and account numbers ready for use when making a request to port numbers to a new carrier. 

 

Do provide accurate porting information

Address information for wireline and VoIP LNP requests (i.e. excluding toll-free and wireless porting) should be provided as the service address, not a billing address. Often the billing address is not representative of where the number that is being ported is actually in service, and it is the service location that matters most for LNP processes. Additionally, the authorized EU should be sure that any and all additional information pertaining to their account (e.g. full port/partial port, passcodes, account numbers, etc.) is provided and is accurate.

 

Porting Types and Time Frames

Bandwidth abides by applicable FCC standards, requirements and recommendations for number porting. Because the type of port request submitted can affect porting timeframes -­ some of which are recommended and others required - this guide should provide a better idea of what to expect. Keep in mind however, industry standards and practices are subject to change. If an order is taking longer than indicated below, and has not received a rejection of any kind, please contact the Bandwidth LNP team for assistance.

Note that all time intervals presented below are contingent upon the authorized EU’s information provided to Bandwidth being correct so that it matches the current/losing carrier’s applicable records. If the requisite information does not match, the time interval for porting will be longer. Please keep in mind that because Bandwidth cannot predict any errors in processing, or the behaviors of other carriers, all quoted times below are Bandwidth’s goal to get the order completed, and cannot be guaranteed for all cases.

Type of Port

Estimated Porting Interval

Standard or Off-­‐net Port

3 – 7 business days

Simple Port

1 – 2 business days

Complex or Non-­‐Simple Port

2 – 4 business days

Project Port

3 – 4 weeks

Toll Free Port

2 – 7 business days 

 

Standard Porting: 

Bandwidth considers any single order to port 100 telephone numbers or fewer that includes a single Billing Telephone Number (BTN), single address, single losing carrier and single rate center to be a standard port. All standard port requests must be entered into the Bandwidth portal, and most will begin processing immediately upon submission. A standard port request will typically be completed within 7 business days, if a first available date is requested, and if there are no rejections on the order.

Bandwidth utilizes an application programming interface (API) on the back-­‐end of its portal that allows for quicker porting times and responses.  Once a standard port request is submitted to the portal, and is not considered off-­‐net, the order automatically starts processing. Bandwidth has logic in its API that identifies other carriers that Bandwidth is bonded with and which identifies the earliest possible porting dates available with the losing carrier. 

Example of a Standard Port: Bob of Bob’s Hardware is porting 5 telephone numbers for his office to Bandwidth from his current carrier. All 5 numbers are located in the Phoenix, Arizona rate center, and share the same BTN, end user name and address. Also, all 5 numbers are currently serviced by the same LEC.

 

Simple porting:

The FCC requires wireline, wireless and interconnected VoIP providers to complete “simple ports” within one business day, unless the requesting provider asks for more time. Contrary to the name, “simple porting” can actually be somewhat complicated to understand. A “simple port” actually depends very specifically on the criteria listed below. If the required criteria is not met precisely, the order may be rejected by the current/losing carrier, which will cause the winning carrier to have to resubmit the port request with new requested porting dates thereby extending the time frame for successfully porting the number to Bandwidth.  The criteria for simple porting are those ports for a single TN that exclude:

  • Unbundled network elements
  • Multiple lines
  • Complex switch translations (e.g., Centrex, ISDN, AIN Services, Remote Call Forwarding (RCF), or multiple services on the loop)
  • Resellers

A proper simple port must be submitted and received by the current/losing carrier by 1:00 p.m. local time (of the losing carrier) on a business day for it to be eligible for activation at midnight on the same day. Any simple port request received after 1 p.m. on a business day local time will be considered the next day’s business. All simple ports shall be entered into the portal just like a standard port request, but with a requested completion date within the aforementioned intervals.

Example of a Simple Port: Sara Jones is porting her basic residential phone number from her current carrier, to Bandwidth or a VoIP provider that Bandwidth supports. Her phone number does not have any extra features on it, like call forwarding, and is not part of a bundled package.

 

“Complex” or “Non-­‐Simple” Porting:

Single order port requests that include complex properties such as:  multiple rate centers, multiple Billing Telephone Numbers (BTNs), and/or multiple addresses, to be “complex ports.”  Complex porting may also involve the losing carrier’s identification of complex porting, due to legacy properties on the account that require special handling.  Complex porting, like project porting, is not subject to the same well-­‐ defined performance intervals that exist for “simple ports” under FCC rules and may be subject to negotiated arrangements between carriers.  The Bandwidth LNP Projects team aims to complete complex ports as quickly as possible but not longer than within 6-­‐weeks. Complex ports are every similar to project ports but project ports typically include more TNs as part of the port request where a complex or non-­‐simple port can include even a single TN if that TN has complex service properties associated with it. 

Example of a Complex Port: Pottery King Retail stores are porting 10 of their phone numbers. The 10 numbers are located in the same state of Colorado, but in 3 different rate centers (Denver, Grand Junction and Colorado Springs). Three of the telephone numbers currently belong to one LEC, while the remaining 7 belong to another LEC. Thus, the order involves 2 different Billing Telephone Numbers and 3 different addresses.

 

Project Porting:

Bandwidth considers port requests presented as a single order, with 100 or more telephone numbers, a single BTN, a single losing carrier and a single address to be “project ports.”  Project porting requires manual handling, and generally can be completed within 3-­‐4 weeks of submission.  Please contact the project porting team for questions on project porting, including how to submit a project port, more specific time lines for completion, what is required to provide, etc.

Example of a Project Port: Dewitt’s Grocery Stores are porting all of their store numbers in a single rate center & state. The store has 35 locations in the same rate center, and there are 245 numbers that will be porting. The numbers are all with the same carrier, but have multiple addresses and Billing Telephone Numbers.

 

Toll Free / 8YY Porting:

Toll free porting is defined as the porting of any toll free or “8YY” number (800, 844, 855, 866, 877 and 888 exchanges).  Toll free ports are handled manually, but must be entered into the portal similar to a standard port request.  Toll free porting is a slightly different process throughout the industry, and is not subject to the same mandates as LNP by the FCC. Preferably toll free port requests should be submitted within a week of when number activation is desired.  Toll free numbers are at risk of being disconnected if not activated within 1-­‐2 weeks after the provider that is designated to manage the toll free number (also known as a RespOrg) has released it.  In attempt to avoid accidental disconnects, Bandwidth will not submit a toll free port request to the designated RespOrg until a week before the desired due date. Toll free port requests should be completed within 7 days, assuming there are no rejections on the order and a first available date is chosen.  LOA submission for toll free porting is different than standard number porting. Please see the LOA & Documentation Policy section for more information.

 

Off-­net porting:

Occasionally Bandwidth provides services in rate centers that are not covered under its own interconnected CLEC footprint by partnering with other LECs.  Such numbering arrangements are considered to be “off-­‐net” because they are not supported under the Bandwidth CLEC, and identified as off-­net ports (Tiers 1-­‐5).  For the most part, these flow through just like any other standard port request, however the control and administrative duties of porting are left up to Bandwidth’s partner.

 

LOA & Documentation Policy

There are specific instances when Bandwidth will require certain pieces of documentation before initiating LNP orders. Follow this simple guideline to make sure the proper documentation is submitted at the of the order to prevent costly delays:

Type of Port Request

REQUIRED

CONDITIONAL

LOA

COB

LOA

COB

Porting on-­‐net to Bandwidth CLEC

 

 

X

X

Porting off-­‐net to a Bandwidth vendor

X

 

 

X

Toll Free Porting

X*

X

 

 

Project / Complex Porting

X

 

 

X

LOA = Letter of Agency/Authorization           COB = Copy of Bill

*A specific LOA format may be required for some carriers. 

 

Conditional LOA policy

As a wholesale provider Bandwidth may not require its customer to produce the required LOA up front, however customers must be prepared to produce the LOA at any point during, before or after the porting process. An example of when Bandwidth may need the LOA is during an inadvertent porting situation (see below). In this case, the valid LOA should be provided to Bandwidth immediately upon request. If the LOA is not provided immediately upon request, a number could be removed from the customer account and returned to the former carrier or customer.

 

Customer Service Record Policy

A Customer Service Record (the information typically included in a CSR) is often used by carriers to help determine that a port request is authorized. However, some carriers have policies that limit production of the CSR only to the end user of record, while other carriers will provide the CSR only to a winning carrier, and still others will not provide a CSR at all. All reseller customers are responsible for advising their EU’s that accurate service address and end user information is required to port numbers, and then providing this information to Bandwidth with the port request.  If a port request is rejected by the losing carrier for an information mismatch, Bandwidth will require the customer and/or the EU to obtain accurate and necessary information from the current carrier. If the customer and/or EU experience difficulties gathering necessary information, Bandwidth may be able to assist, including requesting the CSR from the current carrier.

It is not Bandwidth’s policy to request a CSR on every order, regardless of the status the order. A CSR will be provided at Bandwidth’s discretion only, and the cost to retrieve the CSR may be passed along to the customer.

 

Common Rejections 

The most common port rejections are those that indicate the information submitted does not match what the losing carrier has on file.  Examples include things like: name mismatch, address mismatch, zip-­code mismatch, and partial/full porting migration errors.  It is the responsibility of each customer/EU to provide accurate information necessary to complete the port request through Bandwidth’s portal. By doing so, the potential for up-­front rejections and delays in porting will be dramatically reduced.  Please see the rejection table below for common rejections and resolutions:

Number Disconnected / Not Active

The TN or the account holding the TN is considered disconnected or inactive. All accounts and TNs must be active to port.  EU will need to re-activate service with their provider to continue.

Pending Order

A pending order can be anything from another port request that has been submitted with this same number, a feature add or disconnect, address change, etc. The EU will need to contact the carrier to get the order close out or canceled in order to proceed.

BTN Mismatch / ATN Mismatch

The BTN provided on the order does not match the BTN on the carrier’s records (CSR). The EU will need to contact the carrier to obtain the correct BTN. Bandwidth does not have the ability to determine the ATN/BTN by pulling a CSR.  This needs to come from the EU.

Partial Port / Migration Indicator

A partial port indicates the customer is porting away only some of the numbers they have with the current carrier. A partial port rejection can (generally) one of two things: a) that the order was submitted as a partial port, but it is not actually a partial port.  Or, b) that the order was submitted as a full port, but it is actually a partial port.  Fixing this generally requires the customer/EU to review their inventory/services/CSR with the current carrier, then advising the LNP team how the customer wishes to proceed with the port. Sometimes this also comes through as a rejection for Migration Indicator which is the toggle/button that is chosen when submitting the order to choose a partial or full port. There are instances with this rejection, whereby the order would have to be cancelled and resubmitted. If the order is truly a partial port, a new BTN will need to be provided to the current carrier in order to keep remaining services in tact. The new BTN must be a number that already exists on the same customer account with the current carrier. Contact the LNP team for assistance if needed.

Carrier Freeze

Customer has requested a freeze to be placed on the account that prevents the numbers from being ported (a freeze prevents the change of carriers on an account). The EU will need to submit an order to the current carrier to remove the freeze.  This process can take 1-3 weeks depending on the carrier. Once the freeze is removed, and the order to remove the freeze has closed out with the current carrier, the port may be restarted or resubmitted with Bandwidth.

DSL / Dryloop

DSL is an internet service. If DSL exists, unless the DSL provider allows Dryloop, an associated phone number is probably needed for that connection. Check with the DSL provider before attempting to port a DSL number.  Generally, the EU will need to disconnect it prior to port, make new arrangements with the carrier for the DSL, or provide instruction to Bandwidth to disconnect the DSL in order to proceed. If a number is ported w/o the EU taking care of the DSL service, the DSL runs the risk of being completely disconnected.

Distinctive Ring or Other Feature

This is a feature most carriers will not port while active. The EU will need to disconnect it directly with the carrier.

Name Mismatch

The business or residential name on the order does not match that of the carrier’s records (CSR). The EU will need to contact their provider to pull the current name on the CSR.

 

Order Activation (Day of FOC)

All non-­‐project on-­‐net porting requests are currently activated at 11:30 a.m. ET.  Most off-­‐net porting requests are also activated at this time, but please contact a member of the Bandwidth LNP team to confirm the time any specific order will be activated if this is a critical need.  Because project ports are subject to non-­‐standardized intervals, activation times will be scheduled according to customers’ requests according to the project porting schedule that is in place with the other carrier.  Bandwidth does not currently support specific port time activations for any other type of port requests. 

Type of LNP Order

Set Activation Time

Other Activation Time

On-­‐Net / CLEC Porting

11:30 a.m. ET

 

Off-­‐Net Porting

 

Between 8am-­‐2pm ET, depending on vendor

Toll Free Porting

11:30 a.m. ET

 

Project Porting

 

Customer specific, unless noted by Project Manager

Complex Porting

 

11:30 a.m. ET, unless noted by Project Manager 

 

“SUPP” Requests 

The word ‘SUPP’ is short for supplemental, which is an additional request that is sent on a LNP order, to the losing carrier, generally making a change to the order in some fashion. A SUPP can be anything from changing the due date (most common) to correcting something on the order due to a rejection.

 Bandwidth allows up to three (3) SUPP requests on any order after FOC is received.  Once FOC is received a SUPP request is only sent in an attempt to change the desired due date.  SUPP requests cannot be sent to the carrier with a new due date (whether it’s after FOC is received or before), for anything more than a 30-­‐day interval from the current business date.  Any SUPP request submitted less than 48-­‐hours before FOC date, is considered best effort which means there is the possibility that the numbers  may still port on their original FOC date.  Additionally, the original FOC date may be lost and the order may need to be restarted once a SUPP is issued. 

There may be costs associated with SUPP transactions. If Bandwidth incurs additional costs as a result of customer requested SUPPs, these costs will be passed along to the customer.

 

Order Cancellation Requests

A port request can be cancelled at any time up to 48 hours (2 business days) prior to the established FOC date on the port.  However, cancellation request within this 48-­‐hour window may trigger an expedited cancel charge.  Further, a cancellation cannot be guaranteed.  Therefore, it is always best to find a way to accept a port request when it is within 48-­‐hours of the FOC date to avoid an accidental outage on the telephone number(s).

 

Short Notice FOC 

There are times that the current carrier does not provide a FOC date that matches what has been requested.  Typically a FOC mismatch means the FOC date given is later than the requested date but there are times when the FOC date provided by the current carrier is within a very short window (e.g. 0-­‐ 48 hours from the date/time submitted).  Bandwidth will immediately notify its customers (via portal notification) of the shortened FOC window in an attempt to confirm the FOC can be accepted, or if a SUPP request needs to be sent to the carrier to change the date.  A SUPP on a short-­‐notice FOC (which is not a result of an expedite) is supported at no charge to the customer.

 

Expedites Requests 

An expedite request is a customer-­‐initiated request aimed to shorten the timeframe of a specific LNP request -­‐ such as a FOC or a cancellation request.  Any attempt to expedite a LNP request is considered best effort.  Additionally, these types of requests require co-­‐operation from the other carrier, some of whom may not readily support it.  Please contact the Bandwidth LNP team for assistance for all expedite requests.  Finally, any additional costs associated with expedite transactions will be passed along to the customer. 

 

Porting away from Bandwidth 

If a customer or end user wishes to port their number(s) away from Bandwidth, there is nothing that needs to be done from the EU perspective, other than providing the correct porting information to the new carrier, which can be found in the customer portal.  Bandwidth does not utilize passwords, freezes, PINs or any other similar feature at this time.  The responsibility of initiating the port request, and following the proper port-­‐out procedure is on the new/winning carrier.  However, Bandwidth understands that assistance may be needed in ensuring that the port-­‐out occurs without incident.  All winning carriers should be directed to Bandwidth’s business rules online at http://bandwidth.com/legal. If further assistance is needed, the carrier may contact the Port-­‐out team at 855-­‐577-­‐2929.  Keep in mind, the Bandwidth port-­‐out team works solely with other carriers (LECs), and not with end users directly.  Note that numbers associated with disconnected services will not be eligible to port. 

 

Unauthorized Porting 

An unauthorized port is also known as a “slam.”   Slamming occurs when a number is ported out to a new carrier without proper authorization from the EU. FCC rules, guidelines and policies establish that it is the new carrier’s responsibility to ensure that the port requests it submits are authorized. In order to encourage competition and freedom of choice by EUs, applicable rules and procedures limit the ability of the old or “losing” carrier to verify that port out requests are properly authorized. Therefore, in order to support successful porting, Bandwidth requires its customers to obtain legally valid authorization from EUs as part of each port request it makes. Legally valid authorization is captured through the execution of an LOA that contains at least the minimum required information according to the FCC’s rules and industry standards. 

Bandwidth can provide port-­‐out notifications so that customers are able review and validate telephone numbers that have been ported out by EUs.  If a customer believes a number has ported without valid authorization, the Bandwidth LNP team will work hard with the other carrier to make a determination of the validity of the request and if the port was not authorized, return the number as quickly as possible. The following process is required in order for the LNP team to process a “snap back” of a number that has been ported without authorization.  Please note, it is critical to report these types of incidents within 24 hours of the porting activity: 

  1. Report the potential unauthorized port to the LNP team by opening a ticke Due to faster ticket handling, the preferred method for opening a ticket is via the ticketing portal, however, a ticket may also be opened by emailing the team at support@bandwidth.com.  If this option is chosen, it is important to identify the type of request in the subject line (e.g., Unauthorized Port on TN xxx-­‐ xxx-­‐xxxx).
  2. An LOA signed by the end user of record, identifying the end user’s choice of carrier may be This should be attached to the ticket if so.
  3. Call the LNP team promptly at 855-­‐VoIP-­‐Pro to advise a number was potentially ported away without valid authorization, and a ticket has been opened

The LNP team will immediately begin to work with the other carrier in an attempt to return the number if the port was not properly requested. This may require further cooperation or input from the customer or end user.  Things to keep in mind with unauthorized ports:

  1. Numbers are authorized based on the new or “winning” carrier’s criteria of
  2. An unpaid bill by an EU does not constitute an invalid port. In fact, the FCC has made clear that carriers cannot delay or prevent porting due to a billing dispute or unpaid
  3. Despite validation efforts taken by carriers, mistaken or unauthorized porting may still occur. If there is belief that a number was intentionally slammed, EUs may report such claims directly to the FCC via their website at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/slamming or http://www.fcc.gov/complaints. 

Any unauthorized ports shall be reported to Bandwidth within 24-­‐hours of the occurrence, but no more than 1 week.  Any unauthorized port request brought to Bandwidth’s attention more than a week after the day it ported away is considered a ‘winback’, to which standard porting time frames and policies apply.  An unauthorized port request that is older than week will not be worked as a ‘slam’.

Please bear in mind that no provider (Bandwidth included) is immune from occasional inadvertent porting due to unintentional errors during the porting process. The most common errors are likely to occur when submitting the initial port request (e.g. a typo on the porting TN(s) itself). In these cases, the other carrier will contact Bandwidth and request that the number be released back to them, and their customer/end user.  Bandwidth’s policy on reverse inadvertent porting (i.e. “snap back”) is as follows:

  1. Bandwidth will review the request from the complaining carrier to determine the information used to port the number to Bandwidth, and the customer assigned to the number.
  2. Bandwidth will reach out to the customer of record indicating the number was reported as being inadvertently ported to Bandwidth.
  3. Bandwidth will require a valid LOA immediately from the EU (please see Bandwidth’s policy on LOAs). If the LOA is not provided in a timely manner, and Bandwidth deems the port was made in error, the number will be released back to the complaining carrier immediately.
  4. Bandwidth will remove the number from provisioning in its portal, thus triggering a port-­‐out notification so that the customer may adjust their records accordingly.

 

Bandwidth Service Levels in the Porting Process 

  • To submit port request within 2 business days of receipt of EU
  • To provide an update on each order every 2 business
  • To process necessary supplemental and cancellation requests on orders within 1 business day 

 

Customer Responsibilities in the Porting Process

  • Customer shall provide correct porting information
  • Customer shall keep the EU letter of authorization (LOA) on file, and be able to present a copy immediately upon request.
  • Toll-Free LOAs are required upon port
  • Customer must rectify the basis for an insufficient port request that results in a port request rejection within 10 business days.
  • Customer shall provide a new LOA if the initial LOA and request become more than 30 days old during the course of porting

 

When to open a ticket

If at any time assistance is not being provided via the tools and resources available, or if there is an expedite request, an inadvertent porting incident, or any other reason where a ticket may be appropriate please open one! The Bandwidth LNP team works trouble tickets in a First-­in‐First­‐Out (FIFO) order, but searches for tickets that have high priority to work those first. Opening a ticket via support.bandwidth.com is the fastest way to get your questions answered.  

 

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