We have been asked some questions about the identification of VOIP numbers. Some of our clients are concerned about VOIP numbers being treated like cell phones because consumers may incur charges for calls to this numbers. We have worked with several knowledgeable individuals to stay on top of cell phone number assignment and some of the related industry issues. One of the people I have a great deal of respect for is John Schaeffer, the CIO of Interactive Data, the company that has provided many of our clients with their cell phone data. When I asked for his opinion on VOIP phones numbers, this is what John told me.
“We have received numerous requests over the years to provide VOIP identification much like the current cell suppression offered through the Quantrax platform. From a telephony perspective, a VOIP line is considered a landline. I’ve been trying to deliver a VOIP suppression solution but can’t find an accurate/complete database that properly differentiates all of the traditional landline blocks from VOIP blocks. At this time, I’m not aware of anyone that has been able to solve this problem in a cost effective manner. Every so often, I hear of or find a vendor that has supposedly solved the problem. After further investigation, they have the same issue of missing a large portion of the VOIP service delivered by the Cable Companies (MSO’s). My home VOIP line is a perfect example. The 1000’s block was assigned to Bell South but it’s definitely a VOIP line from Comcast. Although I hear this is going to change, in the past, the original assignee of the block didn’t have to report upstream what Category Designation (landline or VOIP) the block was.
As always, I am more than willing to discuss the issue in greater detail with your customer base. I know that this is becoming a problem for our customers. Please forward the names of any companies that you might hear of that have a viable solution and I’ll be more than happy to give you my opinion on the solution.”