Fri | Sep 25, 2020

OUR urges porting vigilance by telecoms customers

Published:Wednesday | September 16, 2020 | 12:14 AM

The Office of Utilities Regulation, OUR, is appealing to telecommunications customers to be vigilant when porting their numbers to another service provider by ensuring that operators follow the established protocols.

The advisory comes against the background that the telecoms regulator has received complaints from customers about the porting process and felt that it should send out the reminder while it undertakes its own investigation into the matter, the OUR told the Financial Gleaner on Tuesday.

In the advisory posted on its website, the OUR said customers who wish to change their service provider and keep their telephone number must go to one of the points of sale, such as the head office, a retail store or authorised dealer of the intended new service provider and complete a porting request form to start the process.

“The OUR wishes to warn customers that if they are approached by a service provider’s representative to initiate the porting process outside of the stated points of sale, such action is a breach of the Industry Number Portability Guidelines, INPG, and the process should not be accommodated,” the regulator said.

It said the INPG was developed by the number portability working group in accordance with rules 43 and 46 of the Telecommunications (Number Portability) Rules 2014 to manage the processes for porting telephone numbers between public telecommunications carriers.

Local number portability, which became effective in June 2015, allows telephone customers to switch from one mobile service provider to another and from one landline or fixed-service provider to another within Jamaica and keep their numbers.

The OUR said that during the porting process, the primary administrative responsibility for resolving a customer complaint lies with the service provider to which the customer wishes to port his or her number.

It said customers should lodge complaints using the channels established by that service provider. The OUR said the intended new recipient service provider and the current donor service provider must collaborate to ensure that customers’ complaints are investigated and resolved promptly and fairly.

The core functions of the OUR include the development and administration of the national numbering plan and the development of rules and guidelines for the allocation, assignment and use of telephone numbers in Jamaica.

Rules for the implementation of number portability were made by the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology in consultation with the OUR and industry players.

The OUR facilitated the arrangements to ensure that number portability was introduced and administered in a manner designed to produce pro-competitive outcomes on a fair and equitable basis.

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com