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In a final determination issued today the Commerce Commission has extended the current arrangement for number portability for both local and mobile telephone numbers for another six years. Number portability enables a customer to change their telecommunications provider but retain the same telephone number.

“Recent figures released by the Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum (TCF) show that half a million consumers have ported their numbers since number portability was introduced in April 2007, with 170,000 numbers ported in the last year,” said Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner. 

“Number portability enhances competition in telecommunications by allowing customers to easily change providers while keeping their existing telephone number. This saves them the inconvenience, time and expense of updating all their friends, family and colleagues of new contact details every time they change providers. These issues can have a major impact on people’s decision to switch service providers,” said Dr Patterson.

The first number portability determination was issued in 2005 and was to expire in December 2010. The new determination will extend the existing number portability requirements until December 2016. The new determination continues the standards and systems from the original determination. These standards and systems include those for providing number portability, as well as the formula for allocating the cost between telecommunications companies for providing the service. 

The final determination is available on the Commission’s website www.comcom.govt.nz/extension-of-number-portability-determination