This article is the first of our Google Voice series. In this article, we'll look at how you can port land lines to Google Voice.
On Tuesday, I wrote about My frustrating day with Google Voice. As the article stated, I blamed AT&T's terrible coverage in my area.
While there was much gnashing of teeth in the comments about AT&T, my suitability as a phone owner and/or member of the human race, and right-wingers, welfare, and socialism (hey, they're the boards, what did you expect?), there were also some questions about how we moved our land lines to Google Voice.
That's what this article is about.
Here's the basic story. My wife and I have moved from one home to another. The original home was served by land lines. Our phone numbers, both the personal one and the one for our home office, were attached to those wired phone lines.
When we moved, we wanted to "rescue" those phone numbers and have them follow us to the new digs so our friends and business associates could continue to call us at numbers they were used to dialing.
There are a number of other elements we wanted in our home/home office phone system, and I'll be detailing how we got those working in future articles.
The challenge is that Google does not allow you to "port" a land line to Google Voice. Porting is the process where you're able to move your wireless service from one cellular phone carrier to another. This service was put into place as a result of the FCC's WLNP (Wireless Local Number Portability) program, which kicked off on November 24, 2003.
Since that time, number portability has (with a few bumps in the road) been extended to land line numbers as well. That means that you can move your hardwired land line phone number from one provider to another.
In our case, we had our POTS (plain ol' telephone system) phones through AT&T. While I'm sure you can port land lines from other phone companies, we stayed with AT&T through the entire porting process, using cheap AT&T throwaway phones to make this all happen. We also both have AT&T iPhones (my wife loves hers and I, well, I have one).
Let's start with an overview of the process. Since Google won't accept anything other than a cellular phone, you're going to need to first port your land line number to a cell phone, and then, port it from your cell phone to Google Voice. All told, using the mechanism I'm going to describe below, it'll cost you about $45 per phone line ported.
Next: Steps 1 to 4