An impending overhaul of the national U.S. telecommunications database is prompting fears the transition could spark a catastrophic failure, crippling emergency communications networks across the United States, according to industry insiders who told the Washington Free Beacon the foreign firm handling the upcoming transition may not be prepared to initiate the switch.
On April 8, a foreign firm will initiate the first phase in a Federal Communications Commission-mandated overhaul of the national telecoms database that stores and facilitates millions of American phone numbers.
The national database, known as the Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC), handles millions of phone transactions each day. It is being taken over by a foreign-owned firm with a past of breaching U.S. national security clauses banning it from employing foreign workers, such as those tied to China. NPAC handles around 1.8 million phone transactions a day.
iConnectiv, formally known as the Swedish-owned firm Telecordia, has been working on an expedited timeline to implement to transition after it was forced to restart its work in the wake of a national security scandal.
Telecordia was caught in 2016 using a Chinese engineer to work on the sensitive database, a violation of national security clauses included in the firm's contract with the U.S. government.