Time for Personal & Persistent Numbers

$229,500 is an awfully expensive wrong number. As has been widely reported, a Manhattan federal judge fined Time-Warner $1,500 for each of Time-Warner’s 153 unwanted calls to Araceli King resulting in the aforementioned hefty fine. Time-Warner’s Interactive Voice Response (e.g. robo-calling) system was calling the correct phone number. Unfortunately, for Time-Warner, that number was no longer associated with their customer, Luiz Perez, but with Ms. King.

Richard Shockey of Shockey Consulting LLC and Chairman of the Board of SIP Forum, has a solution that cuts to the root of this sort of mix-up. In the above interview, Shockey reiterates his proposal to the FCC that suggested that numbers should be associated with and persistent to an individual. In some sense, this would be similar to the Social Security number one receives in that the number would stay with an individual, even if they don’t have telephone service from a provider at a given time.

His comments, made at the 2015 IP Possibilities Conference, emphasize the opportunity for improving the utility and security of the telephone network, thanks to Internet Protocol. Personal and persistent phone numbers are just one idea he has, as outlined in his filing to the FCC. He suggests the IP transition has effectively occurred and that issues associated with the transition need to be resolved within the next three years.

At the same time, he believes this is the opportunity to exploit the strengths of IP to make improvements to convert Plain Old Telephone Service to something much more sophisticated and something that matches the features of over-the-top telephone services, with the reliability and security of TDM. He proposes something he calls CNAM+, which would provide identification of the caller (whether out-bound or in-bound). Perhaps, Time-Warner will jump on Shockey’s bandwagon with full force after their recent robo-calling debacle.

Coverage of the 2015 IP Possibilities made possible by NTCA.

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