Cell Phone Numbers

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Starting Monday, cell phone users in the 100 most-populated metropolitan areas can start transferring home phone numbers to their cell phones.

Birmingham and Mobile fall into that category. Teri Denard, spokeswoman for BellSouth says there is a possibility that people in other areas of Alabama will also be allowed to participate.

However, not every phone number is eligible for transfer because of technical reasons.

A federal appeals court has denied a request from the U.S. Telecom Association. The group wanted to block the new rule from taking effect. The association claims the rule favors wireless carriers and provides an unfair advantage to the wireless industry.

The court did agree to hear the association's lawsuit, and gave the Federal Communications Commission until Wednesday to respond.

Another rule allowing people to keep their cell phone numbers when they switch wireless companies would not be affected by the lawsuit. That rule also goes into effect Monday.

On the Net:
Federal Communications Commission: http://www.fcc.gov
CTIA: http://www.wow-com.com
USTA: http://www.usta.org