Can I Keep My Telephone Number If I Change My Service Provider?


Have you ever wondered whether you are allowed to keep your old telephone number when you switch providers? Well, the answer is yes, if you stay in the same geographic area.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has "local number portability" rules which allow customers to switch from a wireline, wireless or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider to another wireline, wireless or VoIP provider and keep their telephone number, if they remain in the same geographic area.

If you are thinking of switching your telephone provider, your new phone provider can automatically arrange the number porting for you. Usually, the process is seamless for the customer. Before the switch, check with your new provider to:

  • Discuss the actions you need to take.
  • See if they charge number portability fees, which are allowed, and how much the fee is.
  • Ask how long they expect the transfer process to take. Wireless to wireless should only take a few hours. Wireline to wireline could take several business days.

Certain small rural wireline companies may be exempt from the porting requirements. Contact the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable at the numbers listed below to find out whether your wireline company has been granted a waiver.

If you have a problem transferring your number, call your provider first. If your provider is unable to resolve the issue, you may contact:

Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Department of Telecommunications and Cable

1000 Washington Street

Suite 820

Boston, MA 02118