The Commerce Commission is holding off releasing its draft determination into number portability while the industry forum works on a technical solution.
In July the Telecommunications Commissioner accepted a submission from five industry players, TelstraClear, Ihug, WorldxChange, CallPlus and Compass Communications, to investigate number portability. A draft determination was due by the end of October however no such determination has been released.
However it's not all bad news. Commission spokesperson Gail Kernohan says the delay is due to the industry forum working hard on a technical solution which should supercede the investigation.
"We're currently working in conjunction with the carriers forum because they're working on a technical solution which we expect to be completed by March next year."
The five telcos brought the matter to the commission in March this year after the industry failed to reach a decision over the payment for switching equipment needed for the implementation.
Number portability has been an issue for the industry for many years. In 1996 Computerworld reporter Russell Brown wrote about the Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) debate: "The first of the questions canvassed from TUANZ members concerns number portability, which everyone quickly agrees is a jolly good idea".
Four years before that the Telecommunications Numbering Advisory Group (TNAG), which consisted of the main telcos, TUANZ and the Consumers Institute, and was facilitated by the Ministry of Commerce (now the Ministry of Economic Development), argued over number portability and finally settled on using Telecom's call forwarding facility as a temporary stop-gap measure.