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Media Contact: PUC Press Office, 415.703.1366, news@cpuc.ca.gov


SAN FRANCISCO, November 24, 2003 -- The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today reminded consumers that Local Number Portability (LNP), a wireless consumer's ability to change service providers and still keep the same phone number, is available in certain areas.

Beginning today, under the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) wireless LNP rules, wireless carriers in the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA - geographic designations of population centers compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1999) must implement LNP. LNP allows consumers to switch from one wireless carrier to another and in some cases allows consumers to move a phone number from a wireline phone to a wireless phone.

Wireless carriers operating outside the top 100 MSAs that receive a request to port a number must be capable of doing so within six months after receiving the request or by May 24, 2004, whichever is later.

To take advantage of LNP, consumers should contact their prospective new carrier, which will make the porting request of the old carrier. Consumers should not terminate their current service with their existing carrier before initiating service with a prospective new carrier.

For more information on LNP, please visit the FCC's website at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/NumberPortability/.

To determine whether a California carrier is in a top 100 MSA, please visit our listing of the top 100 California MSAs. To determine if a telephone number may be ported, this MSA designation document lists each exchange in California, grouped by area code. If your exchange center has a MSA rank of 100 or below, your area may currently offer LNP. Although LNP is required in the top 100 MSAs it is not limited to just those areas. The best way for consumers to determine if a carrier is currently offering LNP is to call the carrier directly, as immediate availability in every community in the top 100 MSAs varies.

If you encounter a problem with your carrier when trying to switch providers, please contact the PUC's Consumer Affairs Branch at 1-800-649-7570, or fill out an online complaint form at http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/static/forms/complaint.htm.


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