Hurricanes Irma and Maria Delay Number Portability in ECTEL States



Russell Williams


Weeks after the record breaking devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria, cut through the Caribbean leaving their indelible mark of destruction, the fortunate inhabitants of islands that escaped the tempests will continue feel their impact in other ways well into next year.

What Number is Portability  and What it Means to You

Number Portability, is the ability to change your telephone service provider while keeping your telephone number. Consumers of the ECTEL member states have called for it long and hard and been promised it for many years. However, the project has been hit by one delay after another.

This time nature, in the form of the devastation that hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked on the islands will delay the implementation of Number Portability.

I spoke to Acting General Manager at ECTEL Mr. Andrew Millet to find out more. I began by reminding him that in November 2016, his predecessor suggested Number Portability should be in place by the first quarter of this year. We are some way past that and asked what he can tell us.

Progress Has Been Made

“Since you spoke to Mr. Charles, we have made some progress. We have selected the number portability clearing house, and that’s a company called Teletech, of Slovenia.” Said Mr. Millet. “There has been a lot of progress by the services providers, and that’s in all member territories.”, he continued.


NP Delayed by Hurricanes

“Hurricanes Irma and Maria have brought some delays to this, because many of the providers have regional networks that have sustained some damage in the some of the islands. We know Dominica suffered very badly, but there was also damage in the British Virgin Islands, and we’re assessing the extent of the damage. As well as determining how long it will take to recover from the damage.”

Mr. Millet went onto say,

“We were aiming to have Number Portability in place by March or April 2018. However, we will have to review that date in light of the damage and come back to the public with an update at a later time.”


While a firm commitment in terms of a likely implementation date wasn’t forthcoming, Mr. Millet did agree that Number Portability would likely be implemented in the latter part of the year.


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