How to Transfer Phone Numbers to VoIP Service
The high cost and lack of flexibility of conventional telephone services, often referred to as landlines, are driving more businesses to switch to cloud-based VoIP services.
If you want to switch from a landline to a VoIP service, you may wonder if you could keep the existing phone numbers. After all, having to change the contact information in all the records, documents, and marketing materials is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Not to mention, you could miss out on important communications if something falls through the cracks.
Thankfully, it's possible to keep your existing phone numbers. Here's what you need to know about the regulations and how to transfer phone numbers to a VoIP service:
Phone Number Portability Regulations
Phone number portability is the ability to use the same numbers when you switch from one service provider to another. The FCC has ruled that users have the ability to keep their phone numbers with them when they change service providers, whether it's a landline, VoIP, or wireless.
Once you have requested service from a new company and to transfer your numbers, the old provider can't refuse to have your numbers ported -- even if you carry an outstanding balance.
Some providers charge a fee for porting over existing phone numbers. This could be a one-time fee or a monthly charge for as long as you keep the numbers. Inquire about such a fee and take it into account when calculating your cost.
There are some exceptions to the phone number portability regulations. For example, if you're moving to a new geographic location with a different area code, you may not be able to keep the current number when you switch from landline to a VoIP service. In addition, some rural landline phone companies have obtained waivers for the porting requirement and you'll have to contact the state's public utility commission for further assistance.
You should also inquire about other restrictions associated with porting phone numbers. For example, some providers offer functions that are tied to numbers assigned to you when you sign up for their services. Porting existing numbers could prevent you from using these features.
All the records associated with the phone numbers, regardless of the providers, need to be the same. For instance, the name and address of the account owner should be identical in both new and existing phone companies' records since the phone numbers have to be attached to a person's or company's name and address for it to be ported.
How To Transfer Phone Numbers To a VoIP Service
Follow these simple steps to transfer your existing numbers to a VoIP service:
Do your research to ensure that the service you choose accepts ported numbers.
Sign the new vendor contract and call the VoIP provider to initiate the porting process. Inform the vendor about your request to port existing numbers as early as possible so it can include the process in the implementation plan.
Provide your new vendor with the necessary information, such as the list of phone numbers to be ported, the name of your former provider, and the account numbers. The new vendor will contact your existing provider to handle the porting process.
Allow one business day for the porting process to complete. Your new VoIP vendor will plan an implementation day during which your new phone system will be set up and all the numbers will be transferred.
Make plans for the implementation day to minimize interruptions and train your staff on the necessary business continuity and risk management protocols.
Don't discontinue your existing service at least until implementation day and after you have confirmed that the transfer has been successful and everything is working properly.
Switching phone service providers for a business involves many moving parts that require the expert coordination of an experienced VoIP provider. After all, downtime can be costly and you can't afford to miss out on important communications.
A reputable VoIP vendor will be able to offer the guidance and assistance you need so your numbers are properly transferred with as little interruption as possible to ensure business continuity.
When it comes to VoIP, 8x8 provides a reliable and compliant cloud solution at a demanding level rarely seen by other cloud providers. Don't take your chances with a subpar cloud-based telecom system. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.