It looks like the FCC has ruled that VoIP providers can get phone numbers directly from the North American Numbering Plan Administration, without having to go through state regulators in each state first. While this FCC ruling was specifically for SBC, hordes of smaller VoIP companies will almost certainly do the same thing.

As anyone who has tried to get local phone numbers from smaller providers can attest, it’s really hard to find companies with local numbers across the entire country. I’ve been looking for almost a year, and I didn’t find numbers in my rate center until last week, when I discovered that has numbers for only a $1.49/month plus $0.0137/minute. Before I found them, my best choice would have been paying someone like Vonage $25/month for services that I don’t really want.

Hopefully this FCC decision will lower the price of numbers substantially over the next few months.