FAQ

FAQ Search

TOPICS


General
LNPA Working Group
Onboarding
Proof of Insurance
Training
Bulk Data Downloads
NPAC IVR Questions
Billing Questions
Registration
Insurance Questions
Service Providers, Service Bureaus and Providers of Telecom-Related Services (PTRS)
Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC) Questions

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).

Who administers the NPAC?

iconectiv is the Local Number Portability Administrator (LNPA) for all U.S. regions.

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 Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 8:00pm ET.

Would Canadian Operators continue to have access to the Local Number Portability (LNP) data for U.S. regions like they do with the current NPAC?

iconectiv will provide the user data to authorized Providers of Telecom-Related Services (PTRS) users, including users based in Canada.

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

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

Will there be a developer API for automation?

The industry standards are not changing with the iconectiv NPAC. If you have developed to these industry standards already, no changes are necessary. If you directly connect to NPAC, such as to receive mechanized Local Service Management System (LSMS) downloads, you are required to conduct certification testing.  More information can be found in the Testing FAQs or on the Resources  page.

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.
  • Service Bureaus – Third party users that access the NPAC on behalf of their customers.
  • Providers of Telecom-Related Services – A group that accesses the NPAC to route, bill or rate calls or to perform network maintenance.

If you are uncertain as to the type of user that you are currently registered as with the current NPAC, please contact the iconectiv Help Desk.  


Do Read Only users have to follow this process?

Yes, Read Only users must follow the registration process.  It is recommended that applications be submitted at the applicant's earliest convenience.

What is LNP?

LNP stands for Local Number Portability. You may also hear it 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 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. 


Who can receive NPAC data and/or services?

Currently, eligible users include authorized service providers and authorized Providers of Telecom Related Services (PTRS). To register to become an authorized NPAC user, click here.

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 options do I have 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 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 will be 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” for porting purposes.

To get a SPID in the NPAC you must first complete the New Customer Registration Process detailed here. Upon successful completion, your company will be assigned a SPID in the NPAC.

Does iconectiv provide a port query service?

Yes, iconectiv offers TruNumber Finder, which 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.

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 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

How do I register?

Registration instructions differ for each user group,: 

Service Providers, Service Bureaus or Providers of Telecom-Related Services (PTRS) should visit the Get Started page .


Is there a fee for registration?

There is no fee for registration for any user group.

What is the exact listing you want shown on the Certificate of Insurance?

Telcordia Technologies, d.b.a. iconectiv  
ATTN: NPAC Service Representative, 8C802H 
100 Somerset Corporate Blvd., Bridgewater, NJ 08807

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.

If a Service Bureau only has an administrative Service Provider ID (SPID), is insurance still required?

Yes, all Providers of Telecom-Related Services, which is technically what Service Bureaus are, need to follow the same registration process and provide the same information, including insurance. This policy is consistent with the registration process for the current NPAC. 

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. 

What training and materials will be available for NPAC users?

iconectiv is developing training materials designed to assist both new and existing NPAC users. Some courses are focused specifically on issues related to transition, while others are more general regarding the NPAC and its usage. Visit the Presentations and Videos pages for more information and links to materials. 

Does iconectiv provide Bulk Data Downloads (BDDs)?

Yes, the iconectiv NPAC does provide Bulk Data Downloads (BDDs).

What are Bulk Data Downloads?

The Bulk Data Downloads provide data extracts from NPAC/SMS database and are used to communicate network data, number pool block data, subscription version data, and notification data in a set file format.  BDD files can be Full files or Delta files.  Delta BDDs provide the latest list of updates to Network, Subscription Version (SV), or Number Pool Block data between two selected points in time. Full BDDs provide an active-like view of Network, Subscription Version (SV), or a Number Pool Block data from inception.

How do I order BDDs?

BDD Files can be requested by NPAC Users one-time or on a recurring basis via the NPAC Customer Portal or by contacting the iconectiv NPAC help desk.   
  • One-time requests can be Full or Delta BDDs and can cover a designated time period. 
  • Recurring requests can be Full or Daily Delta BDDs and cover the data through midnight GMT the previous day.  
All one-time and recurring Delta BDD generation and delivery times are impacted by the number of BDD requests in queue.     Recurring Full BDDs are independent of the volume of requests and will be available daily prior to 09:00 GMT. Once generated, the files can be retrieved from the users sub-directories on a Secure FTP (sFTP) server by users who are designated as the Primary or sFTP users.

How do I get a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for the SP/PTRS Automated Telephone Number Lookup System (IVR)?

Registration for the SP/PTRS NPAC IVR is done through the NPAC customer portal

Once you are an authorized NPAC user you can request an NPAC IVR PIN. 

Once your company has successfully completed the NPAC IVR registration, the access 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.

Is there a way to access the information online?

The NPAC IVR is a telephone-based service. Online access is available through the NPAC Customer Portal.


How many telephone numbers can be checked via the NPAC IVR at one time?

Up to 20 numbers can be checked per session.

Will the SP/PTRS IVR system provide carrier contact information on all telephone numbers?

The IVR system provides information only on ported telephone numbers. The IVR will advise you if a number has not been ported.

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.

What is the phone number for the NPAC IVR system for service providers, service bureaus and providers of telecom related services?

After you have registered and have received a validated PIN, you can contact the IVR by calling 877-295-9707

Information regarding the IVR for law enforcement and public safety agencies can be found here.


Who do I contact if I have questions or issues utilizing the IVR system?

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


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 I access my bill?

You can access your invoice on the billing portal via the NPAC Customer Portal. You can also choose to have your invoice mailed or emailed to you.

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 often are customers billed for NPAC services?

Customers are billed monthly.

I may have filled out the 499-A form incorrectly and I would like to update my company contact information listed on the 499-A form. What should I do?

The 499-A form must be filed with the Universal Services Administration Co (USAC). You will need to supply your company’s Filer ID#. Once you provide the Filer ID# USAC will work with you to correct/update your 499-A information.  To update your company’s contact information on the 499-A form, click here

My company is no longer in business. Who do I notify so I no longer receive local NPAC bills from iconectiv?

If your company is no longer in business, contact the USAC at 888-641-8722. You will need to provide the USAC with appropriate documentation to verify that your company has ceased business operations. The USAC will then notify iconectiv that your company is no longer in business. Once that information is received and processed, you will no longer receive NPAC bills.

My company is no longer in business. Am I 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.


Where can users ask billing questions?

The iconectiv NPAC billing help desk can be contacted at 1-844-560-8050 or via email here
Please remember to prominently include your account name or invoice number in your email–preferably in the subject line.


What do I need to provide for registration?

All applicants must provide information regarding their company, contacts and insurance. 

In addition, all service providers need to provide the following:

  • An Operating Company Number (OCN)
  • Proof of operating authority
  • 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. 


How can service providers, service bureaus and providers of telecom-related services (PTRS) add primary contacts after registration?

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

Why do I need to provide proof of insurance on my application?

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

Does every Service Provider, Service Bureau and Provider of Telecom-Related Services (PTRS) have to register for the iconectiv NPAC in order to continue to use NPAC services?

Yes, every Service Provider, Service Bureau and Provider of Telecom-Related Services must register, even those that only use the NPAC occasionally or work through a third party to do porting or access NPAC data. By registering, users will ensure that their Service Provider ID (SPID) is operational after the transition to the new iconectiv NPAC.   Registration is also an opportunity for users to update their company’s contact information and other data within the NPAC as well as inform iconectiv if a company no longer has a need to use NPAC services as a whole or for a specific SPID.

What is the estimated average timeline for registration for Service Providers, Service Bureaus and Providers of Telecom-Related Services if all forms are filled out correctly?

The timeline is dependent upon the amount of time the user takes to complete their forms. If a form is incomplete or filled out incorrectly, the process will be delayed. The estimated turnaround time for each form once received is as follows:

  • Non-disclosure agreement (NDA): iconectiv will return a countersigned NDA with a pre-populated transition user application (TUA) in five to seven business days. 
  • Transition user application (TUA): iconectiv will respond within 10 business days with one or more pre-populated regional user agreements (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.

I just completed my non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for the iconectiv NPAC. What is the next step?

iconectiv will process your non-disclosure agreement (NDA) within five to seven business days and return a countersigned NDA and pre-populated transition user application (TUA) for review and completion. If the NDA is not completed properly, the process may take longer.

Why must Service Provider IDs (SPIDs) be provided as part of the non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?

Service Provider IDs (SPIDs) are a key identifier for number portability and are essential to the transition to the new NPAC. Providing a disposition of every SPID in the existing NPAC system is a requirement of the overall onboarding process. Applicants are asked to include all SPIDs on the SPID form, even those that are no longer in use. There will be an opportunity later in the registration process to indicate that a SPID is obsolete. When applicants provide their SPIDs with the non-disclosure agreement (NDA), they help ensure the accounting of all SPIDs in the new NPAC.

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.

We are a Service Provider that has a third party handle our NPAC entries. Do we fill out these forms or is registration the responsibility of the third party vendor?

Every Service Provider, Service Bureau and Provider of Telecom-Related Services that intends to continue 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.

What is a Service Provider with mechanized access?

If you currently access the NPAC via a direct Local Service Management System (LSMS) or Service Order Administration (SOA) interface, then you are 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.

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. 

What is the NPAC and how do I exchange porting information?

NPAC stands for Number Portability Administration Center. It is operated by iconectiv, and serves as the central mediation center for all Local Number Portability (LNP) activity. The NPAC is the telecom industry's common, authoritative database used for routing, rating and billing calls for telephone numbers that are no longer assigned to the original NPA-NXX code holder. There is a separate NPAC SMS for each of the seven traditional RBOC regions in the US and an eighth system for Canada. For more information on the NPAC, click here.

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

For more information on the LNPA, click here.


Who administers the NPAC?

iconectiv is the administrator of the U.S. NPAC. Managing the NPAC is part of iconectiv’s role as the FCC-approved Local Number Portability Administrator (LNPA) for all seven of the U.S. Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC) regions.

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

The NAPM LLC negotiates and manages all contracts associated with LNP administration including managing the contract of the NPAC administrator with regards to:

  • Pricing
  • Appropriate use of NPAC data 
  • Completion of agreements with vendors 
  • Monitoring the performance of the LNPA

What can NPAC data be used for?

NPAC data can be used for call rating, call routing, call billing and telecommunications network maintenance. The types of portability the NPAC supports are:  

  • Service Provider Portability: which enables users to change providers and retain their telephone number
  • Location (Geographic) Portability: Depending on the geographic location and type of line, this allows users to change from one geographic area to another while retaining their telephone number\


Additionally, there are three reasons for a telephone number to be ported:
  • Inter-carrier or competitive porting; when a telephone number moves from the current service provider to a new service provider.
  • Intra-carrier porting; when a telephone number moves from one switch to another within the same telecommunications service provider's network.
  • 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

How do I access NPAC data?

Authorized users can access the data from the NPAC Customer Portal.

What regions does the U.S. NPAC serve?

The NPAC serves seven regions in the United States.