Vonage wants to have direct access to numbers directly from the pool that makes up the North American Numbering Plan Administration, something that they currently don't have reports Fierce Enterprise Communications yesterday.
It's a hotly contested subject, and one that carries with it certain rights and repsonsibilities, but also one that will help separate the perception that Vonage and Skype compete, which they don't if you talk to Skype folks because Skype's not a carrier. Vonage wants access to the numbers to be on the same playing field as AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink, along with a bunch of regional telcos and CLECs. Currently Vonage has to go through third parties who have access to the numbers.
My experience with Vonage in the past was mixed when it came to my number that I ported to them. When I decided to move the number away, I ported it to Junction Networks in advance of my annual contract expiring. I cancelled the contract, and my number was already working over at Junction Networks where today it is tied to OnSip. A year or more later Vonage ported it back to themselves only to be red faced when presented with the proof it had been moved away and was never theirs to claim. That said, alot has changed since then, and Vonage has become much like the cable MSO's a legitimate competitor to the telcos, and thus wants to be on a more level playing field.