I am a member of the Staff of the Illinois Commerce Commission and a Co-Chair of the Illinois Local Number Portability (LNP) Task Force. The LNP Task Force has been the national leader in developing LNP standards for use by telecommunications carriers. If you are unfamiliar with LNP, you might be more familiar with the problems that might be caused law enforcement agencies when a customer, even one under surveillance, can easily and quickly switch local phone companies much as they can long distance today without having to change their phone number or even physical line. As more customers switch companies, taking their phone number with them, finding out the correct phone company on which to serve a court order or from which to gain emergency access during a hostage situation will become impossible to do using just the phone number. Traditionally, law enforcement agencies have simply called the incumbent local exchange carrier, but in the new environment it is possible that the incumbent will not be able to provide the information the agencies need, because the particular phone number is no longer theirs.

The members of the Illinois LNP Task Force discovered this problem some months ago, and since then have held numerous meetings with members of law enforcement to discuss the issues involved and remedy the situation. We are holding our next meeting at the Illinois Commerce Commission offices, at 160 North LaSalle, 8th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601, on December 16, 1997, 9a.m. This meeting will be to further discuss the remedies that have been developed to help law enforcement agencies find the appropriate phone company and contact people, as well as discuss possible state public utility commission action. I would appreciate if you would post a notice of this meeting on your web site. We have had good attendance from agencies within Illinois as well as the FBI, but the problems and remedies we discuss are national in nature. If you have any questions please call me at 312-814-6025, or e-mail me at bstruthe@icc084r1.state.il.us. Thanks.