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Christmas UK Network Freeze to Cause Some ISP Service Delays

Monday, Dec 16th, 2013 (1:26 am) - Score 2,811

Consumers hoping to upgrade, get support or order a new broadband / phone service from their ISP over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, which usually lasts for two or three weeks, should be mindful of the annual Network Freeze around this period that can impact some systems and services.

A combination of factors, primarily staff shortages (i.e. holidays, illness, above average travel disruption etc.) and or damage caused to the telecoms network due to heavy snow fall or storms, can often combine to result in a backlog of work and thus cause extended delays. Similarly some ISPs will often adopt a Network Freeze and refuse or delay certain requests until after the New Year celebrations are over.


For example, business ISP Fluidata has introduced a Network Freeze that will run from 6pm on 16th December 2013 through to Thursday 2nd January 2014 and this is by no means uncommon. During this period the ISP states that “No core network configuration changes will be made. This is to ensure existing services are not affected by a lack of resource by the network operator.” Meanwhile other some other ISPs will also close their support lines on specific days.

As a result consumers that choose to order a new service from any ISP over this period should be prepared to wait a little longer than usual for their service to be provisioned and responses to customer support issues might also take longer (though this does rather depend upon the service that you order). Naturally this situation is not unique to telecoms providers but it is very important to be mindful of it.

Internet and phone providers are 24/7 operations and so some staff will always be on duty to cope with any major problems, although it’s not uncommon for ISPs to close their telephone support lines on Christmas day and sometimes a little longer. Consumers can of course choose to wait to make a change or query until after the holiday period but remember that BT’s telecoms engineers will often be working to clear the pre-xmas backlog first.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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