Canadian porting best practices


Aaron Henderson


Local Number Portability (LNP) can be stressful and unpredictable, and LNP in Canada is no exception. This article provides some best practices to help you and your customers better prepare for porting in Canada.

What do I need to submit the order?

  1. End user / business name
  2. Service address
    • This is the address the phone rings to.
    • Note: It's not always the same as the billing address.
  3. Authorization name / name of the account holder
  4. Billing Telephone Number (BTN) on the account
  5. Account number
  6. PIN (when applicable)

All of the information above can be entered in specific fields in the Bandwidth Dashboard.

Important: The account information being submitted must match exactly what the losing carrier has on file. Otherwise, rejections will be received and the porting timeline will be delayed.

What additional information do I need to provide?

  1. Letter of Authorization (LOA)
    • Required. A digitally signed copy can be used, but carriers may request a hand-signed copy if there's a rejection being disputed.
  2. Invoice
    • This is not required but can aid in getting the correct information and disputing rejections in some cases.
  3. Reseller name
    • Required. This is the company the end user is paying. It can be added to the LOA or as a note on the order.
  4. Remaining lines
    • If possible, have your end user provide a full list of TNs from the account that are either porting with the order or will remain with the losing carrier.
    • If the pilot line (BTN) is being ported, be sure to note a new TN that will become the pilot if the lines are to remain active with the losing carrier.

Where do I get this information?

The short answer is: the losing carrier. If the end user is porting services away, their provider is obligated to provide them the information they need. A copy of the invoice is also a beneficial tool in determining:

  • Account number
  • Additional lines on the account
  • Special features that may need to be addressed

One tool that can be beneficial, if the end user is paying Bell or Telus, is an Equipment Record. This is similar to a Customer Service Record (CSR) in US porting, but they're only available from Bell and Telus and need to be requested by the end user. Have the authorized user reach out to their carrier and ask for "a complete Equipment Record of the services on their account, including name, service address, account numbers, and BTNs, as a requirement for auditing their current services for internal review.”

Note: Bell and Telus are the only carriers that can provide these, but they won't always be available for all Bell and Telus accounts.

How do I overcome rejections?

Rejections are a headache to deal with when porting numbers, but we want to be sure you're prepared for them and know how they can be overcome. Unfortunately, Bandwidth is unable to assist the same way we can in US porting. CSRs are not an available tool in Canada, so we need to lean on the available resources:

  1. Equipment Record
    • When available, an Equipment Record should help confirm the information needed to port. As mentioned above, these can only be provided for accounts with Bell and Telus and still may not be available in all accounts with these carriers.
  2. Latest copy of the invoice
    • If provided, we can work with our Canadian partners to try to use it to dispute. This won’t always be successful if:
      • The information doesn’t match the submitted order.
      • The billing information doesn’t match the service information.
  3. End user
    • If a rejection is received and we don’t have grounds to dispute, the end user is going to be our greatest asset in overcoming the rejection. The authorized user on the account can reach out to who they pay their bill to and say: “I'm moving my service to another carrier and I need to know the (account name, service address, etc).” The carrier is obligated to provide the information the authorized user is requesting.

In the event that the above options are unavailable, we can work with our Canadian partner and ask them to reach out to the carrier. However, if the carrier confirms the rejection and the information needed, we’ll have to revisit the listed options.

General reminders

Don’t promise your end user a specific port date

We work as hard as we can to gain the date that our customers request, but sometimes issues arise that are out of our control: rejections, carrier limitations, etc. Be sure to set your end user’s expectations appropriately.

Cancelling any active service orders can help the order process

If there are pending changes on the account while we’re trying to port, we’ll receive a rejection and the timeline will be delayed. Have the end user reach out to their carrier to ensure any open/pending service orders are cancelled or confirmed complete.

Don’t have the end user cancel their old phone service

Make sure the end user waits until after the number port is complete to cancel the service with their old carrier. If this is done before the port is complete, the port could be rejected, delayed, or the end user could experience loss of service due to the carrier dropping the lines early.

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