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By Lydia Beyoud
July 25 — The Federal Communications Commission approved Ericsson AB subsidiary Telcordia Technologies Inc. to be the next national administrator of a database that lets consumers and businesses keep their phone number when they switch carriers, according to an order released July 25.
The contract approval is a major win for Telcordia, but isn't likely to appease Neustar, Inc., which is the current local number portability administrator (LNPA), and has been fighting the FCC over the issue for more than a year.
In 2015, the FCC approved a proposal from the North American Numbering Council to award the contract to Telcordia. The five-year contract is between Telcordia and an industry consortium, but the FCC has oversight over the contract.
The switch in administrators is expected to come at lower cost. Telcordia has said it would cost $1 billion over the next seven years to serve as LNPA, or approximately $142.9 million per year.
By contrast, Neustar has charged $1.4 billion, or $466.4 million a year, in just the past three years, according to Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai's statement accompanying the order.
Neustar sued the FCC over the decision Neustar, Inc. v FCC, Neustar Inc v FCC, D.C. Cir., 15-01080, clerk's order 6/8/16 . Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for Sept. 13.
“Today's decision is just another data point in a bizarre and opaque process that continues to give short shrift to important issues involving critical U.S. telecommunications infrastructure,” a Neustar spokeswoman told Bloomberg BNA via e-mail. She added that Neustar would continue to “pursue a lawful outcome through our litigation.”
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