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On February 1, 2008, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decided that voice over IP phone (VoIP) providers should be required to allow the transfer of phone numbers to any provider. PIAC made submissions to the CRTC calling for “VoIP number portability” prior to the decision.
What this means for consumers is that their VoIP number may be changed to their home phone or cell phone number at no cost, regardless of who their VoIP carrier is and who their landline carrier is.
Also, if someone was assigned a VoIP number outside of their area code, which is known as a secondary number, they now may transfer that number to another VoIP phone with a different carrier at no cost. However, secondary VoIP numbers can only be transferred to another VoIP phone, not a home phone or cell phone.
“This is good for consumers,” said John Lawford, counsel for PIAC. “Now VoIP numbers, like cell phone numbers, can be taken with you when you change companies.”
PIAC intends to monitor the CRTC’s enforcement of its decision and encourages consumers who have difficulties transferring numbers to contact the CRTC.