Is it possible to "own" a DID?

Just curious about DID numbers. With my cell phone, I can switch between providers and keep the same phone #. I am wondering about that with DID numbers. I was doing some research, and see companies renting them affordably, only around $0.50/month, but what if I wanted to switch VoIP companies, or even suspend service for a little. Is it possible to “own” the number and then like DNS, assign it to whichever carrier I want?

I was looking at this list of companies on Wikipedia:, and while they offer the numbers, I don’t see anywhere that I can flat out own it.

I remember the old days of Network Solutions running the internet before deregulation, but don’t know who “runs” the phone system. As in, if I “buy” a number from, who did they get it from? Do they owe that company monthly for each number in their inventory?

Direct in Dialing numbers are ordinary phone numbers, so can, in theory be subject to number portability. Whether the networks in your country support that, and whether your ITSP does is a combination of political and commercial questions, unrelated to Asterisk.

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Thank you David, I realize it isn’t an “Asterisk” question, but I figured with a highly intelligent, engaged crowd such as we have here, with knowledge surrounding telephony - someone here might know better than someone over at StackExchange.