About Number Portability FAQs

What is the NPAC?

The Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC) supports the implementation of Local Number Portability (LNP) 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).

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 port 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 on the NPIF - Number Portability Industry Forum (NPIF) WG website.

What is the North American Portability Management (NAPM) LLC?

The NAPM LLC was formed to manage the contracts for the Local Number Portability administrator(s) following the orders and directions from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

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, which:

  • Facilitates the porting of telephone numbers
  • Distributes ported number information to service providers for their network administration 
  • Facilitates mass changes, such as location routing number (LRN) transfers.