Everything you need to know about the annual telco embargo

telco embargo

The end of the year is fast approaching, so if you’re thinking of setting up new networks or phone lines, now is a good time to get your affairs in order. That’s because telecommunications carriers, including Optus, Telstra, Springcom, TPG, and NBN Co, have an annual industry-wide telco embargo during the holidays.

What does the embargo mean?
The annual telco embargo is a period when carriers don’t provide new copper, fibre, NBN, and broadband cabling and connectivity services. Other service requests like network reconfigurations, relocations, and hardware or software upgrades on carrier networks will also not be processed. This year, it is expected that the embargo will run from December 14, 2018 to January 7, 2019.

Mitigating the impact of the embargo
If you plan to relocate offices, connect new phone lines, or set up new networks before December 14, the best time to place an order is before the end of September.

It’s a good idea to have your managed services provider (MSP) perform a comprehensive network assessment to move the process along quickly. They’ll analyse your company’s bandwidth usage, phone systems, and network infrastructure, so you know exactly what you need from your telco carrier.

If you place an order after September, your carrier may still be able to complete the project before the embargo cut-off date, but it all depends on the service requested. Some services require more network components and planning on the carrier’s end, which can result in longer lead times. Here are the expected lead times of each network service:

Type of service Lead times (Business days)
Ethernet copper and fibre services 30+ days
NBN and DSL broadband services 10–30 days
New phone number requests 10 days
ISDN phone line installations 20 days

While carriers closely adhere to these lead times, you should also expect delays especially around late November. Requesting for a new phone number 10 days before the embargo date, for example, is ill-advised because carriers may be busy working through a backlog of other outstanding requests. Your order will proceed as far as possible, but chances are, it won’t be completed until the embargo has passed, so don’t leave things to the last minute!

What about support services?
Maintenance and support services for your telecommunications network will proceed as usual during the embargo period, but keep in mind that there will likely be fewer administrative technicians around this time, especially during Christmas, Boxing, and New Year’s day, so you may experience occasional service delays.

Are Empower IT Solutions’ services affected?
Most of our services, including managed IT services, private cloud, IT assessments and consulting, will remain unaffected by the embargo. We can also install new phone equipment, but we unfortunately can’t provide new voice and data network cabling and connectivity services during this period.

What happens after the embargo?
Telco carriers will resume all services after the embargo, but there will be significant service delays during the first two weeks since they’ll be focusing on their backlog of requests.

The annual telco embargo can be a frustrating time for businesses, but it doesn’t have to be if you assess your systems and prepare well ahead of time. Empower IT Solutions is a leading MSP in Australia that can identify your telecommunications requirements. We’ll help you decide which telco carrier you should go with and what services you need. Call us today for more information on how the annual telco embargo will affect your business and what you can do to mitigate it.