Telstra has been forced to stop almost all transfers of landline numbers to other providers due to COVID-19 related lockdowns in India where much of the work was performed.
The porting issue was first reported by the Australian Financial Review and was confirmed by a Telstra spokesperson.
“Due to the impact COVID-19 is having on our local and global operations, Telstra has temporarily paused the transfer of most landline numbers between Telstra and other retail service providers,” the spokesperson said.
“With the reduced capacity we have, we are prioritising the transfer of landline numbers for Priority Assist customers and emergency services.
“We have made regulators aware of the situation and we thank our industry partners for their patience and understanding as we find an alternative solution that will enable us to recommence the transfer of landline numbers.”
India has ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days to combat the spread of the virus.
This is understood to have significantly reduced Telstra’s capacity to perform landline number porting.
The telco has regulatory obligations to prioritise Priority Assist customers, and will be doing so while all other landline ports are paused.
The issue does not affect mobile number porting, which uses a separate and largely automated process.
Telstra - like many other telcos - is already exposed to the impact of similar lockdowns in the Philippines, where it also has call centre operations.
To combat the Philippines issues, Telstra is building its Australian call centre capabilities back up with 1000 new roles across six locations, which were advertised this week.