At its monthly open meeting on Wednesday, the FCC made it easier for voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) subscribers to take their existing numbers with them when switching carriers, as the agency approved an order that extends local number portability (LNP) obligations to interconnected VoIP providers. In adopting the rules, the FCC addressed complaints from consumers who have found themselves unable to transfer their phone numbers to or from VoIP operators. The agency also responded to a petition for declaratory ruling, filed by Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA, which sought ways to speed the intermodal porting process between local exchange and wireless carriers. As FCC Chairman Kevin Martin stressed the importance of allowing consumers “to transfer their numbers to and from [VoIP] providers just like transfers between carriers,” Commissioner Robert McDowell described the FCC’s decision as “critical” as VoIP continues to evolve as a substitute for traditional phone service. To expedite the porting process between all carriers, the FCC further ruled that requests for porting validation can require only four items: (1) the customer’s ten-digit phone number, (2) the customer account number, (3) the customer’s five-digit zip code, and (4) a password, if applicable. As part of a further rulemaking notice, the FCC concluded tentatively that porting requests be completed within 48 hours. Claiming that local phone companies were making the process of moving telephone numbers more difficult than it needed to be, Sprint Nextel praised the FCC for taking “a strong stand.”