Letter of Authorization

What is a Letter of Authorization?

The letter of authorization (LOA) is a specialized letter the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) refers to as the Letter of Agency. It’s the legal document telecom clients use to switch their services or port phone numbers from one carrier to another. Two telecom companies may exchange a letter of agency to kick off the process, or a customer and a telecom company might do so as well. You can think of it as the digital replacement for paper contracts with written signatures telecom customers used in the past. 

The LOA authorizes a third-party to access a customer’s information from a telecommunications service provider. This way, the new provider can complete any tasks and transfer any information necessary to change carriers. 

Letters of authorization must contain the following information about the business transaction. 

  • The name, address, and telephone numbers of the subscriber. 
  • The intention of switching from a previous telecommunications service provider to another. 
  • The subscriber’s consent to allow the new carrier to act on behalf of the subscriber. 
  • Consultations describing whether the subscriber will pay a fee for the switch. 

Letter of agency often contain electronic signatures before submission. The electronic signatures in Global and National Commerce Act dictates the consumer disclosures necessary in this case. 

Why should you care about a Letter of Authorization? 

A letter of authorization is a necessary part of the switchover process between telecom service providers. A LOA is required by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to ensure consumers can seamlessly switch between providers. 

This enables consumers to shop for better prices, service, support, or enhanced features from competitors. Whenever they need to switch to a new provider, the LOA is the official legal document for starting the process. 

The FCC oversees the use of letters of agency, which are mandatory for changing service providers without dropping the phone numbers involved. Any situation requiring the transfer of potentially sensitive information between two carriers must include the letter of agency. 

The LOA is required to complete any of the following: 

  • Porting phone numbers: If an organization wishes to switch service providers after finding a more agreeable contract elsewhere, it can use the letter of authorization to make the switch without abandoning its previously provisioned phone numbers. Changing these numbers can frustrate internal employees, business partners, and clients as they need to update their company contact information. 
  • Obtaining financial records: Telecom providers have the financial and customer support records of any client and obtaining this information is critical to finding out what a customer is paying for. 
  • Completing the process smoothly: Both telecom companies must work together and share potentially sensitive client data to make the service transition smooth. Data privacy regulations, while important in the telecom market, can get in the way without an LOA. 

What are the benefits of a Letter of Authorization? 

A LOA serves as a practical legal document granting third parties’ permission for specific actions or transactions. Its benefits include facilitating smooth business operations, ensuring clarity in permissions, and mitigating potential disputes by clearly outlining the authorized responsibilities. Improve your business efficiency and clarity with a well-drafted LOA for streamlined operations and enhanced legal protection. 

How does Sinch work with a Letter of Authorization? 

Sinch offers businesses everything they need to seamlessly communicate through voice, video, and other popular channels. With an LOA, Sinch can initiate the switching process, bringing you one step closer to working with an industry-leader. 

Get in touch with our team today to see how easy we can make the switching process.