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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


What is the NPAC?

The Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC) supports the implementation of Local Number Portability and is the system used to facilitate number porting in the United States. Comprised of seven regional systems across the U.S., the NPAC manages the number portability processes of all telecom Service Providers in the United States, including wireline, wireless, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

What can NPAC data be used for?

Service Providers and Providers of Telecom-Related Services (PTRS) can use NPAC data for call rating, call routing, call billing and telecommunications network maintenance. The types of portability the supported include:

  • Service Provider Portability, which enables users to change providers and retain their telephone number
  • Location (Geographic) Portability, which depending on the geographic location and type of line, allows users to change from one geographic area to another while retaining their telephone number
PTRS users that want to use the data for fraud mitigation and risk assessment must also register as a PortData Validate customer.

 In addition, certain NPAC data elements are available to specific, qualified companies whose businesses rely on quick and accurate access to this data. These services, which require a separate registration, include:

  •          PortData Comply -- available to businesses that must comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and rely on the WDNC service for porting, the data is used exclusively for verifying if a ported telephone number is wireless or wireline.
  •          PortData Source -- Available to Law Enforcement and Public Safety Agencies via the online, the data is used exclusively for verifying the porting history, service provider ownership and serviceprovider contact information for a specific number

  •          PortData Validate -- Available to businesses that use telephone numbers as part of their fraud mitigation and risk assessment service, the data is used exclusively for verifying the porting history and service provider ownership for a specific number.

Why would a telephone number be ported?

There are three reasons for a telephone number to be ported:

  1. Inter-carrier or competitive porting; when a telephone number moves from the current service provider to a new service provider.
  2. Intra-carrier porting; when a telephone number moves from one switch to another within the same telecommunications service provider's network.
  3. Number pooling; when a telephone number moves to a new service provider in blocks of 1,000 to create an inventory of unassigned telephone numbers

What is the Local Number Portability Administrator (LNPA) and what are its responsibilities?

iconectiv is the LNPA for the United States. As the LNPA, iconectiv manages seven regional databases that make up the U.S. NPAC. The NPAC provides critical data that allows for:

  • Data administration for ported telephone numbers, service provider networks and audit administration
  • Mass changes, such as location routing number (LRN) transfers
  • Billing and cost appointments

What regions does the U.S. NPAC serve?

The NPAC serves seven regions in the United States. 

What options are there for exchanging porting information and/or interacting with the NPAC?

Once you become an authorized NPAC user, you will be able to interact with the NPAC/SMS in the following ways:

  • ·     Service Order Activation (SOA): The SOA is used to communicate information to the NPAC SMS and back to the service provider.
  • ·     Local Service Management System (LSMS): The LSMS is used to receive information from the NPAC/SMS and serves as the database for all information required for direct call routing information when a customer changes service providers
  • ·     Low Technology Interface (LTI): The LTI is the graphical user interface (GUI) that can be used instead of the SOA to communicate information to the NPAC/SMS
  • ·     NPAC Help Desk: You can contact the NPAC Help Desk to speak with a representative
  • ·     Service Bureau: A third-party service bureau can help you interact with the NPAC indirectly

 

For more information on how accessing or interacting with the NPAC, click here.

What is the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Automated Telephone Number Lookup System?

The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Automated Telephone Number Lookup System is a telephone-based service that provides information on ported telephone numbers. Registration is done through the NPAC Customer Portal. Once registered, users can check up to 20 telephone numbers per session by calling 877-295-9707 and entering their PIN.

How do I get a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for the IVR service?

Once an authorized NPAC user, a NPAC IVR PIN can be requested through the NPAC customer portal. PIN(s) will be available with 24-48 hours. Instructions for retrieving the NPAC IVR access PIN(s) will be provided to the primary registration contact.

What does it mean when the system states the telephone number has “not been ported”?

“Not ported” means the telephone number has not been moved to another service provider. It still resides with the service provider originally assigned the telephone number’s area code and prefix. You can use the NANPA to look up the originally assigned carrier of an area code and prefix.

The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) is the numbering plan for the public switched telephone network for Canada, the US and its territories, and the Caribbean. The North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA) holds the overall responsibility for the neutral administration of NANP number resources, subject to directives from regulatory authorities. 

Who can receive NPAC data and/or related services?

Currently, eligible users include authorized Service Providers and authorized Providers of Telecom Related Services (PTRS). While NPAC access is available exclusively to service providers and providers of telecom-related services, certain key number portability data elements are available for law enforcement and public safety, TCPA compliance and fraud mitigation and risk assessment. Download the Power of Number Porting document for more information.

My company is an authorized user of NPAC data. Can we share the data with others?

Any entity, including affiliates or subsidiaries, to which you provide NPAC User data or data derived from NPAC User data, must also be a registered NPAC User.

What training materials are available for NPAC users?

iconectiv has developed training materials for all users. Some training materials can be found here. Once you are registered, you will be able to access additional training materials on the Training tab of the NPAC Customer Portal

How can primary contacts be added after registration?

Primary contacts can login into the NPAC Customer Portal to enter additional primary contacts. Primary contacts can also contact the Help Desk for help adding contacts.

Is a Service Provider ID (SPID) the same as an Operating Company Number (OCN)?

In many cases the Service Provider OCN (Operating Company Number) is used as a Service Provider ID (SPID). The Local Number Portability Administrator (LNPA) assigns SPIDs and may choose to use a company’s OCN as their SPID. In other cases, the SPID is unrelated to the OCN.

What is the LNPA WG (Local Number Portability Administration Working Group)?

The LNPA WG is a subcommittee of the NANC (North American Numbering Council), an advisory body to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). The LNPA WG was formed at the behest of the FCC to develop technical requirements for the centralized data base approach to local number portability.

Who can participate in the LNPA WG?

Anyone can participate in the LNPA WG's meetings. However, when the LNPA WG makes a decision, it is the entities subject to local number portability regulatory mandates that drive the discussion.

Who gave the LNPA WG its responsibilities?

The LNPA WG was given the charter by the North American Number Council (NANC) for implementing Local Number Portability (LNP) on a national level.

When and where does the LNPA WG meet?

The LNPA WG meets monthly, alternating between conference calls and face-to-face meetings. The meeting location varies and may be anywhere in the United States. Every year or so, an LNPA WG meeting is held in Canada. A conference bridge is provided for all face-to-face meetings.

Please see Meeting Logistics for current meeting information. 

How can I join the LNPA WG?

The LNPA WG is an open forum sponsored by the North American Numbering Council (NANC) to facilitate the implementation of LNP. It is open to all wireline and wireless service providers, as well as all vendors. There are no requirements for joining, just show up and participate.

What does the LNPA WG do?

The LNPA WG is responsible for developing and recommending NPAC/SMS functionality requirements.  New requirements are documented in the form of Change Orders.  (The decision on whether to purchase a Change Order recommended by the LNPA WG is made by another body.)  The LNPA WG also serves as a clearing house for issues arising due to the introduction of local number portability through its Problem Investigation Process ("PIM").  In some cases, the LNPA WG resolves the problem; in others, the LNPA WG refers the problem to another industry committee for resolution.

How do I subscribe to the LNPA Working Group mail list?

To subscribe to the new LNPAWG email list, visit https://maillist.numberportability.com. Create a ListServ account by clicking on “get a new LISTSERV password” and enter your email address and choose a password. Click on the list LNPAWG and then click subscribe at the right of your screen.  You will receive a confirmation email with a link to complete your subscription.  Please make sure your company can accept email from this domain, LNPAWG@list.numberportability.com.

If you have any questions regarding the LNPAWG distribution list send email to cma@iconectiv.numberportability.com

Why do Service Providers have to pay for the Number Portability Administration Center/Service Management System (NPAC/SMS) and its services?

In 1996, the FCC passed the Telecommunications Act to increase competition among service providers. Among other things, the law stated that service providers must participate and pay for LNP in the U.S. The NPAC was created to support the implementation of LNP shortly after the Act was passed. 

How can bills be accessed and when are they issued?

Bills are issued monthly and can be accessed on the billing portal via the NPAC Customer Portal. Users can also request for bills to be mailed or emailed. 

How is the amount I am billed determined?

Every telecommunications service nationwide is required to report end user revenue information on the FCC 499A form and submit it to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). iconectiv then uses this information to create the customer’s allocated percentage rate, the formula for which is the customer’s individual end user revenue information divided by the sum total of all end user revenues reported by all customers who have reported revenue in the same region as the individual customer. 

All forms must be filled out in April of each year. A copy of the 499A form is available online.

Why am I being charged when I do not use NPAC Services?

Based on a mandate set by the FCC in 1997, all telecommunications service providers are responsible for sharing in the cost of the LNP service. The Federal Code of Regulations (CFR) TITLE 47, Telecommunication, PART 52 requires telecommunications carriers to pay the shared costs of Local Number Portability Administration (LNPA). For more information, click here.

Why is this month’s LNP bill higher than last month’s bill?

In most situations, the increase may be due to an increased number of direct charges billed from one month to the next. These could include, generating reports via the NPAC system, purchase of log-on ID’s, etc. Increase in charges may also come from adjusted 499A filings that could change your regional allocation percentage. If this does not describe your situation over the past month, contact our Billing Help Desk at: (844) 560-8050.

How are Local Number Portability (LNP) FCC-mandated charges calculated?

Allocable charges are determined based on the end-user revenue and service provider revenue filed on the FCC 499-A form that service providers submit to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Information from that form is used to calculate the amount service providers are billed. The fee for the shared costs of LNPA for each applicable billable year is defined as the All-Region Flat Fee in the MSA between iconectiv and NAPM LLC. Allocated Payors with zero end-user revenue and zero carrier’s carrier revenue and additional Allocated Payors that are categorized as exempt by USAC are excluded. 

Additionally, any filer that reports only carrier’s carrier revenue with no end user revenue, they will be charged only $100 per region per year.

How can company contact information listed on the 499-A form be updated?

The 499-A form must be filed with the Universal Services Administration Co (USAC). Users will need to supply the company’s Filer ID#. Once the Filer ID# is provided, USAC will work with the company to correct/update your 499-A information. 

Contact information on the 499-A form can be updated here.

Who should be notified if a company is no longer in business?

Companies that are no longer in business should contact the USAC at 888-641-8722 AND email the NPAC to notify iconectiv of the change in status (LNPA-Acct-Mgmt@iconectiv.numberportability.com).

Companies will need to provide the USAC with appropriate documentation to verify that the company has ceased business operations. The USAC will then notify iconectiv that the company is no longer in business. Once that information is received and processed, the company will no longer receive NPAC bills. 

If a company is no longer in business is it responsible for paying all invoices billed to date?

Outstanding charges will not be collected if:

  • The customer’s termination date is prior to the charges billed
  • The customer satisfactorily documented their “out of business” status 
  • The USAC has sent notification that appropriate filings are complete

In Chapter 11 situations, the customer will still be responsible for payment if LNP charges are assessed after the bankruptcy filing date.

Does every Service Provider and Provider of Telecom-Related Services (PTRS) have to register for the NPAC?

Yes, every Service Provider and Provider of Telecom-Related Services (PTRS) must register, even those that only use the NPAC occasionally, those that work through a third party to do porting or access NPAC data and Read Only users.

Do service providers that use a third party to handle its NPAC entries require to register directly?

Every Service Provider and Provider of Telecom-Related Services that intends to use the NPAC or NPAC data must register, even those that only use the NPAC occasionally or work through a third party to do porting or access NPAC data.

How do I find out what type of user I am?

The different categories of NPAC users include:

  • Service Providers – Telecommunication companies that provide service to end-users or customers.
  • Providers of Telecom-Related Services – A group that accesses the NPAC to route, bill or rate calls or to perform network maintenance. This includes Service Bureaus, which are third party users that access the NPAC on behalf of their customers 

In addition, certain key number portability data elements are available for law enforcement and public safety, TCPA compliance and fraud mitigation and risk assessment. Download the Power of Number Porting document for more information.

How do I know if my company is a Service Provider?

You are a Service Provider if you meet all of the following criteria:

  •     Possess an Operating Company Number (OCN) issued from the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA)
  •     Hold Operating Authority, Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), Radio License or VoIP Proof of Numbering
  •     Participate in porting numbers

How do I know if my company is eligible to be a Provider of Telecom-Related Services (PTRS)?

If you require access to NPAC data, you may qualify as a PTRS user if you:

  • Route, bill or rate telephone calls or perform network maintenance in connection with providing or facilitating the provision of telecommunications services in support of Service Providers
  • Are an interconnected VoIP provider that is not eligible to obtain numbering resources from the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA) directly and instead must partner with a facilities-based Public Switched Telephone Number (PSTN) Service Provider to obtain NANPA numbering resources and connectivity to the PSTN
  • Are a non-facilities-based reseller of interconnected VoIP services that uses the number resources and facilities of an interconnected VoIP provider or a traditional PSTN reseller
  • Are a Service Bureau performing porting work on behalf of a Service Provider who is a registered NPAC user.

How do I register?

Registration instructions differ for each user group:

Is there a fee for registration?

There is no fee for Service Provider registrations. Since Providers of Telecom Related Services (PTRS) are required to go through a New User Evaluator (NUE) process, there is a non-refundable fee for that evaluation. 

What do I need to provide for registration as a Service Provider or a Provider of Telecom Related Services (PTRS)?

All applicants must provide information regarding their company, Operating Authority (if applicable), valid use cases, and insurance. 

In addition, all Service Providers must provide:

  • ·     An Operating Company Number (OCN)
  • ·     Proof of Operating Authority, Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, FCC Radio License, or FCC VoIP Proof of Numbering
  • ·     499-A Filer ID from Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)

If you are unfamiliar with the 499-A ID, see the FAQs in the Billing section. 

What is the estimated average timeline for registration for Service Providers?

The estimated turnaround time for each form ounce properly completed and submitted is as follows:

  • ·     Non-disclosure agreement (NDA): iconectiv will return a countersigned NDA with a New User Application (NUA) in five to seven business days.
  • ·     New user application (NUA): iconectiv will respond within 10 business days with one or more pre-populated Regional User Agreement (RUA).
  • ·     Regional User Agreement (RUA): iconectiv will respond within 10 business days with a countersigned Regional User Agreement (RUA) and then registration will be complete.

What is the estimated average timeline for registration for Providers of Telecom-Related Services?

The estimated turnaround time for each form once properly completed and submitted is as follows:

  • Non-disclosure agreement (NDA): iconectiv will return a countersigned NDA with a New User Application (NUA) in five to seven business days.
  • New User Application (NUA)/New User Evaluation (NUE) process: This can take up to 60 days to complete.
  • Regional User Agreement (RUA): iconectiv will respond within 10 business days with a countersigned Regional User agreement (RUA) and then registration will be complete.
  • Regional User agreement (RUA) and then registration will be complete.

How long does the New User Evaluator (NUE) process take and which applicants must go through that process?

Providers of Telecom-Related Services (PTRS) must go through a New User Evaluator (NUE) process, which can take up to 60 days to complete. As such, Providers of Telecom-Related Services applicants are encouraged to apply in all NPAC regions to avoid having to go through the application process again if additional regional data is needed.

What is LNP?

LNP stands for Local Number Portability. It is also referred to as number portability or number porting. Mobile number portability (MNP) or wireless number portability (WNP) refer to a type of LNP related to wireless or mobile numbers. 

 LNP was created as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to give consumers the choice and convenience of keeping their wireline or wireless telephone number when switching from one service provider to another. Prior to LNP, consumers were required to get a new telephone number every time they switched service providers. Note that for wireline numbers, there are some geographical limitations to the consumer’s ability to porting their number.

For more technical information regarding how LNP works, click here

What is the North American Portability Management (NAPM) LLC and what part does it play in porting telephone numbers?

The NAPM LLC 

https://www.napmllc.org/pages/home.aspx

negotiates and manages all contracts associated with LNP administration including managing the contract of the Local Number Portability Administrator (LNPA) with regards to:

·     Pricing

·     Permitted Uses of NPAC data 

·     Completion of agreements with vendors such as the LNPA including enhancement of the NPAC 

·     Monitoring the performance of the LNPA

What is the regulatory background of LNP?

In 1995 and 1996, several states began the process of selecting the architecture to be used for LNP in their respective states. 

After considerable discussion and deliberation, AT&T/Lucent Technologies' Location Routing Number (LRN) architecture was selected. (The LRN method became the industry standard and later was adopted by the FCC in 1997. 

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 provided a pro-competitive, de-regulated national policy framework designed to open local telecommunications markets to competition.

The FCC issued its First Report and Order (adopted June 27, 1996) in Docket 95-116 providing the regulatory framework for LNP. Other LNP-related FCC Orders and Code of Federal Regulations are posted at the LNPA WG website.

What is a LRN?

LRN stands for Location Routing Number, a unique 10-digit telephone number assigned to each switch to support call routing. The LRN serves as the network address and includes the area code (NPA) and central office code (NXX) for a telephone number. The assignment of a LRN to telephone numbers allows for LNP.

While NPAC User Data is restricted to authorized NPAC users only, the NPA-NXX associated with an LRN is available to non-NPAC users. For a list of companies that will supply this information to non-NPAC users, click here

What is a SPID?

A SPID (service provider ID) is a unique four-character alphanumeric value that is assigned by the LNPA to an NPAC User. The SPID is a key data element for most NPAC related activities, including porting, to identify the NPAC User. Each NPAC User may have one or more SPIDs. For Service Providers, their OCN is usually used as their NPAC SPID. The SPID for other NPAC Users, known as Providers of Telecommunications Related Services, is determined by the LNPA. Service Providers may also request SPIDs to represent other entities, such as resellers or Mobile Virtual Network Operators. Those entities are referred to as “alternative SPID” or altSPIDfor porting purposes.

What is a Service Provider with mechanized access?

A Service Provider that accesses the NPAC via a direct Local Service Management System (LSMS) or Service Order Administration (SOA) interface, is considered a Service Provider with mechanized access. If you access the NPAC exclusively through the Low-Tech Interface (LTI), through a third party, or exclusively via the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or Help Desk, then you are considered a non-mechanized user.

Does iconectiv provide a port query service?

Yes, iconectiv offers TruNumber Finder, a service that is separate from the NPAC.  TruNumber Finder simplifies telephone number management, confirms customer acquisition and enhances customer service by providing a full, fast and accurate view of the information needed to trouble-shoot call-completion and telephone number porting issues. In order to subscribe to TruNumber Finder, the company must be a registered NPAC User.

What is a Bonafide Request (BFR)?

The BFR is a written notice regarding a pending port-out request, sent from a porting-in provider to the provider of record for the end user. If this provider of record has never received a port-out request, their switch may not have been set up to port. Once the BFR has been received by provider of record, this BFR explains the time intervals in which that provider must get their network set up to honor the port. Other references are: FCC 96-286, FCC 97-074, FCC 02-16, FCC 03-126, FCC 03-237 and 47 C.F.R. § 52.23 and 52.31.

Per Title 47 C.F.R. § 52.23 (c) all local exchange carriers (LECs) must provide number portability in compliance with these regulations. 

(c) All LECs must make a long-term database method for number portability available within six months after a specific request by another telecommunications carrier in areas in which that telecommunications carrier is operating or plans to operate.

What kind of insurance do I need and how should iconectiv be reflected on the policy?

NPAC Service Management System (SMS) users must operate under the coverage of all applicable insurance requirements that are specified in the user agreement.

Why is a proof of insurance required as part of the application?

Proof of insurance demonstrates that a company is able to cover general liability conditions, such as physical injury, property damage or personal injury that may occur during your business’ operations.

What is the exact listing to be shown on the Certificate of Insurance?

  1. iconectiv, LLC., 100 Somerset Corporate Blvd. Bridgewater, NJ 08807

What is meant by providing an Additional Insured Endorsement?

Users have two options:

  1. Users can name iconectiv on the Certificate of Insurance as an Additional Insured. 
  2. Users may have an Endorsement to their insurance policy that permits the user to include a person or organization, in this case iconectiv, as an Additional Insured on the user's policy without having them listed as an Additional Insured on the Certificate of Insurance. 

Can articles of incorporation be provided in place of a certificate of insurance?

No, articles of incorporation confirm that the company has been legally formed but do not provide any proof of insurance coverage. As such, articles of incorporation do not represent proof that a user has an actual valid or effective insurance policy that meets the required coverage limits for general liability and workmen’s compensation insurance. 

If a Service Bureau has just an administrative SPID, is insurance still required?

All Users and PTRS Users, which is technically what Service Bureaus are, need to follow the same registration process and provide the same information. This is consistent with the current registration process. 

How do I reach the help desk?

The help desk can be reached via email at npac@iconectiv.numberportability.com or by calling 844-820-8039.

How do I reach the Billing Help Desk?

The Billing Help Desk can be reached by calling 844-560-8050 or via email. Please remember to prominently include the account name or invoice number in the email, preferably in the subject line.

Who do I reach the IVR Help Desk?

For general IVR questions, email IVR@iconectiv.numberportability.com or call the NPAC Help Desk at (844) 820-8039.

Can I change the primary contact for onboarding even if the primary user will be someone else?

If you are a Service Provider or a Provider of Telecom-Related Services (PTRS), you can change your primary contact for onboarding at any time by sending an email to lnpa-acct-mgmt@iconectiv.numberportablility.com.