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8 Million Keep Cell Number Since Rule

November 24, 2004|From Associated Press

Nearly 8 million mobile phone users have switched carriers and kept their cell numbers since a rule allowing that flexibility went into effect one year ago, the Federal Communications Commission disclosed Tuesday.

Almost 750,000 more people have moved either a home or office phone number to a cellphone, the FCC said on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the agency's "number portability" order.

The agency said that by the end of October, 7.8 million people had taken advantage of the rule, which took effect Nov. 24, 2003.

The numbers suggest that millions of cellphone users may have been frustrated with their cellphone service but were hesitant to switch providers because they didn't want to give up a phone number that was familiar to friends, business associates and family.

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