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Numbers to the People: Regulation, Ownership and Local Number Portability

21 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2000  

Joshua S. Gans

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; NBER

Stephen P. King

Monash University - Department of Economics; Productivity Commission

Graeme Woodbridge

Frontier Economics, Inc.

Abstract

Local number portability (LNP) is a key factor in the promotion of local call competition in telecommunications. By allowing a consumer to retain their number when moving between local telephone providers, LNP reduces customers' switching costs and makes it easier for new providers to compete for customers. But regulators face a number of important choices when implementing LNP - what technology should be chosen, what are the costs of implementing LNP and who should pay? This paper considers how the regulator can implement LNP when there is asymmetric information about the optimal timing, choice and cost of technology and about the value of LNP to individual customers. We show that requiring each carrier to bear their own costs and creating transferable ownership of telephone numbers may allow the regulator to overcome the problems created by asymmetric information.

JEL Classification: D4, L13, L51

Suggested Citation

Gans, Joshua S. and King, Stephen P. and Woodbridge, Graeme, Numbers to the People: Regulation, Ownership and Local Number Portability. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=223189 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.223189

Joshua S. Gans (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.joshuagans.com

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Stephen Peter King

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Victoria, Roodepoort 3145
Australia

Productivity Commission ( email )

Level 28
35 Collins St.
Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria 3000
Australia

Graeme Woodbridge

Frontier Economics, Inc. ( email )

Ground Floor
395 Collins Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

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