Antiquated Telephone Company Practice
I am moving for the first time in 25 years. And the quarter-century-ago move was within the same city. So my landline telephone number (yes, I still have one of those) hasn’t changed in well over 30 years! But I am now moving about 30 miles away, to a different area code, and, unfortunately, a different home/home office telephone number.
When I asked why I couldn’t keep my number—even offering to pay a monthly fee to do so—I was told that Verizon (from whom my landline and number was transferred to a cable-based VoIP telephone line) would not allow same-number-transfer across “regions.” According to my cable sales rep, “Even people in the next town from yours can’t port their number because it is a different region.” She told me that Verizon set those rules many years ago, and there is currently no way to get around it.
Verizon, or whichever telephone companies are still holding tight to the controls over phone lines, needs to loosen its grip and move into the 1990s (not to mention 2014). Mobile phones have supported transferring cell numbers for decades now. Why isn’t the same portability available for “landlines” (and many of these are internet-based, such as cable-supported voice services)? Even though I’m not familiar with the technical aspects of telephony, I am certain that technology isn’t the stumbling block. It is probably a cost issue—there is technology to make it happen easily, but it might cost the phone company to implement the tech (at least initially).