The NPAC, Neustar & LNP

The NPAC was implemented in 1997, making Local Number Portability ( LNP ) in the U.S. and Canada a reality. As mandated by various FCC and CRTC  rules and orders, the Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC) is the telecom industry's common, authoritative database used for routing, rating and billing  calls for telephone numbers that are no longer assigned to the original NPA-NXX code holder.

As the only NPAC Administrator for the U.S. and Canada, Neustar stays ahead of the rapidly changing telecommunications industry to deliver and maintain the LNP system. Working with industry members who compete with each other in various markets around the country, Neustar and the NPAC continue to work for the benefit of the entire communications industry.

Responsibilities of the NPAC

The primary responsibilities of the NPAC include:

  • Data Administration: Ported telephone number data administration, service provider network data administration and audit administration
  • Mass Changes: Area code (NPA) splits and LRN transfers
  • Billing and Cost Apportionment to determine the allocation of NPAC charges and then rendering approximately 11,000 invoices each month to collect those charges. The allocation applies to nearly all NPAC charges and is based on the relative end user telecommunications revenue of the billed parties.

Other NPAC responsibilities include:

Neustar and the NPAC

The FCC determined that the NPAC should be administered by one or more neutral third parties. Neustar has been deemed a neutral third-party administrator with strict neutrality requirements  in place for all employees, board members and contractors. Neustar’s corporate-wide neutrality program is unmatched by any other entity in the market today.

As administrator of the NPAC, Neustar processes tens of millions of transactions every month, ensuring that the correct and most current service provider is associated with each ported telephone number. Virtually every call that terminates within North America relies upon the NPAC to be routed to completion.

Highlights of Administrator History

  • Implemented and deployed the world’s first number portability database, the NPAC, in 1997
    • 500+ million numbers under management
    • 24/7/365 operations
    • Completely redundant system
    • Security, disaster recovery planning, reporting, auditing
    • +1.2M real-time broadcasts of adds, changes, deletions every day
    • Controlled access for law enforcement and public safety agencies
  • Strict corporate-wide neutrality  requirements in place
    • Neustar undergoes nine separate audits each year, including
      • Neutrality regulations and code of conduct
      • LNP neutrality
      • ISO 9001 certified
    • Neustar has passed all neutrality audits
  • High quality, high performing, reliable, secure, scalable database; performs at 99.999% availability (vs. a target of 99.9%)
    • Eight major software releases and three platform upgrades
    • Designed for change to support the evolving needs of the communications industry
    • Modular infrastructure for capacity expansion without service interruption
    • Incremental carrier investment based on significant economies of scale
  • High customer satisfaction ratings for 15 years
    • “Superior” NPAC Customer Survey rating at 3.68 out of 4.00 (92%)
    • “Superior” NAPM Customer Survey rating at 3.67 out of 4.00 (92%)
  • Full leverage of the NPAC infrastructure to bring added value to Service Providers
    • Network/technology migration (e.g.: 2G->3G ->4G, LTE)
    • Network and switch load balancing
  • Emergency Preparedness to provide direct assistance to affected carriers in times of natural or man-made emergency
    • New York City area on September 11, 2001 when critical infrastructure was damaged or destroyed
    • New Orleans and the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Katrina in 2005
  • National Pooling to manage numbering resources
    • Instituted pooling in blocks of 1,000 vs. 10,000 blocks to better manage the finite inventory of available telephone numbers and NPA-NXX codes.
    • Preserved 500 million telephone numbers

Learn more about Neustar .