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Telcos sue to block landline-to-cell switchers

11th hour move to scupper LNP

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The United States Telecom Association has filed a suit to prevent people taking their landline numbers to cellphones.

It's one of the least-noticed aspects of LNP, or local number portability, which the regulator, the FCC, has said must be introduced no later than Monday. LNP will allow cellphone users to take their numbers with them from carrier to carrier.

In a filing at a DC district court requesting an emergency motion, the USTA argues that the mandate is one-sided. President of the trade association Walter McCormack said that the government intervention threatens to "harmfully distort competition." But the telcos are quite capable of harmfully distorting competition all by themselves, with lock-ins and a bewildering array of contract gotchas. The large telcos fought number portability ever step of the way, and show no sign of giving up at the eleventh hour. ®

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