Number portability reaches rural areas

CNN reports that cellphone number portability is about to reach rural and less populous areas of the country. The introduction of the service has been phased in, with the 100 most populous parts of the country getting it first. Customers will be able to move their cellphone number from one company to another, and will also be able to move a landline number to a cellphone, with certain restrictions on area codes.

All in all, this is a small but important step to making the telephone network more like the Internet. Domain names belong to you, not your Web hosting company, and you can move your domain name from one provider to another, based on price and quality of service, etc. We want the same kind of flexibility with phone numbers. The current situation is particularly difficult for businesses, who can't easily change phone numbers without disrupting customer service.

In the old days (pre-Internet), phone number truly did have to be tied to infrastructure. But not anymore. We will all benefit in the coming years from increased competition for dial tone services, which is already bringing lower priceas and more/better services.

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