The CRTC yesterday issued its much-anticipated decision involving the implementation of wireless number portability. The Commission mandated number portability by March 14, 2007, about six months faster than the industry proposed, though not exactly the "expeditious" implementation that the government called for last February.
I entered the fray last fall, publishing a column on the issue in which I argued that the industry-backed two-year implementation timeframe was far too long (I used the column as the basis for a submission to the CRTC). I (and others) pointed to at least two reasons for faster implementation. First, the industry proposal envisioned full nationwide number portability and I argued that the vast majority of Canadians could have number portability by rolling the service out to urban areas first. Second, I noted that the industry plan waited far too long to begin testing and marketing the service and that many steps could be conducted in parallel to save time.
The CRTC essentially rejected the first argument but agreed with the second. The Commission committed to a full, nationwide rollout, which certainly buys the carriers a bit of time. It also recognized, however, that there is an opportunity to move on several tracks simultaneously and thereby knock six months off the industry’s 24 month implementation plan. While a phased-in approach would have enabled some number portability in 2006, consumers will have to wait a bit longer to enjoy what has been available in numerous other jurisdictions for many years.
It’s now the last days of 2005. We still have to wait another 15 months for MNP (or WNP). On the whole, this is good news considering that the original proposal called for implementation in 2007 September.
I hate being tied to one service provider just because they’re holding my phone number hostage. I could switch providers, but the expense and inconvenience of getting a new number outweighed any advantages of a “better” service plan. The reluctance of the major service providers to move on this issue is a testament to their fear of competition, and to their arrogance.
I have been waiting anxiously for MNP for years. Friends, colleagues, and customers have all expressed the same sentiment. Once MNP is implemented, all users will benefit in the long run.
system access fee
while we are talking about the MNP let’s not forget about that system access fee they nail us with every month! i know it the states they charge just under a dollar a month, not free but hey it’s a lot better then $6.95. for a bunch of companies to be taking so much from us they sure offer little in return and yes they do hold us hostage! let’s get out of the dark ages and look at the way Europe offers all that and then some!