Thanks again. This is helpful.
Yes, I think when I talked to ATT/SWBell they mentioned that they needed to convert my line to "naked DSL", but it wasn't clear that this would prevent me from losing my POTS number. But I guess I just have to work with them to understand just when to port that number. If I port before they convert it, I'm concerned that the whole account could be closed. If I port after they convert it, I'm concerned there many be no POTS number to port anymore.
I figure I'll spring for UVerse anyway, and they now market that for internet unbundled.
As to security "because the provider needs your login and password" ... that would be Google, eh? Well, gee, it seems to me that Google already has my GMail login and password because my account is on their server. OK, maybe it means that parts of Google that would not normally have it would get it. Is that the issue? I frankly can't see that you can have any sense of absolute security when your stuff is on someone elses server.
I have posted to dslreports, but didn't learn anything useful there about number porting.
Before I saw the Gewirtz piece, I frankly wasn't aware of the el cheapo WalMart/Target cell phones. Amazing. Now, I understand that the way these work is that when you first get them, they're unusable until you buy time. Is that correct? That is, they don't come with a tiny amount of time to get you started. If not, I guess I'd buy the minimum time. Once you activate them, and the time you've purchased expires or you burn it all, are those phones still rechargeable? Not really relevant to the issue at hand, but I'd like to believe they are.
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