Porting a cell phone number to a land line phone?
October 7, 2010 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Can I port my existing AT&T Wireless cell phone number to a new Comcast Digital Voice land line account? The 1-800-Comcast customer support rep. said no, but the FCC says "you can switch telephone service providers, including interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, and keep your existing phone number". What's the final verdict? Anyone have experience with this?
posted by thankyoumuchly to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I work for a telecom. The rule is that AT&T is required to port the number to Comcast if Comcast asks them, but Comcast isn't required to ask AT&T to port the numbers for you, if that makes sense. If you want to port those AT&T numbers to another provider, find a provider who is willing to have them ported for you.
posted by empath at 3:36 PM on October 7, 2010

You may want to tell Comcast that you aren't willing to switch to them if they won't port the numbers. I'm sure that Comcast has a porting department, they may just not want to do it if they can avoid it because it can be a bit of a hassle and labor intensive. If you've had contact with a sales person, talk to them about it, instead of support.
posted by empath at 3:39 PM on October 7, 2010

Wireless to landline ports are definitely possible it is business as usual for AT&T. You should ask Comcast for someone who hands phone porting and have them initiate a port request (for which you'll need your AT&T Mobility account number and the last four of the primary account holder's social security number). Wireless to landline ports can take up to ten days to complete, but are usually handled quicker.

The only hangup might be that the receiveing port operator would have to be able to provide service for the local area the number is based out of (NPA-NXX). If they don't, then there is something with the FCC regulations that restrict them from taking it over. It doesn't sound like this is the case, though.
posted by cgomez at 7:01 PM on October 7, 2010

To find out for sure, go to telcodata.us and enter the first six digits of the phone number you want to port. In the list of results, click on one of the entries under the Ratecenter column. Look at what comes up (this is a sample from a city in my area) and if there is a decent quantity of companies (say, more than 3-4 different ones), then you should be able to port with no problem.

The qualification is that your new provider must have the ability to service a number in the same ratecenter as the one you want to port. This area, for instance, is probably screwed unless porting to or from Sprint.
posted by fireoyster at 7:27 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

These responses have been great!

I got through to a detailed customer support rep @ comcast and they said my number wasn't assigned to an e911 location, and that this is the reason they said no to porting my number from AT&T wireless into Comcast Digital Voice.

Can anyone help me figure out if this is legit?
posted by thankyoumuchly at 11:23 AM on October 8, 2010

AFAIK you can assign any voip number to any e911 location. We often set up e911 services for locations which were entirely in different states from where the rate centers were.
posted by empath at 11:27 AM on October 8, 2010

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