Tuesday, March 08, 2005

VoIP Number range in the US (to be exact: NANP) 

Jeff Pulver and Libretel (one of his companies) had a long and tedious way to go, but finally they achieved it: the got assigned a block of numbers from the ideal NPA for this purpose: 1-500-VON-xxxx. This assignement is also a break-through, because it is the first assigment in the NANP for a unlicenced carrier. So Jeff is again breaking ground for others, because followers will will have a much easier job. He also did it the correct, but hard way to apply for a proper number assignment and did not, like some others, just hi-jack an unused number range. For more information on the details, the background and also the history of 1-500 see Jeff's blog and also the CNET story "Dialing without a licence".

But Jeff also recognized that he is only half-way through, the hardest part is still ahead, namely to talk the carriers into routing the calls to the gateways. This is especially in the US a nightmare, as others already have found out and this may take, with bad luck, some years.

An ideal solution would be to put these numbers into ENUM, then the numbers could be reached at least from some countries outside the US. But also this way is blocked as long as CC1 is not partizipating in ENUM. It is realy interesting so watch how long it takes for a country claiming to be a technology leader to solve such a simple technical problem - or is it not a technical problem?

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