EBS: Broadcast Throttling (Also Known as Call Throttling or Broadcast Delivery Throttling)

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Topic:

Broadcast Throttling (also known as Call Throttling or Broadcast Delivery Throttling).

Description:

What is Broadcast Throttling?

Large numbers of notification broadcasts being delivered to the same geographical location can overwhelm telephone network systems or local telephony infrastructure, jeopardizing rapid message delivery during an incident. When the telephone network system or local telephony infrastructure is overwhelmed, notifications may fail to reach all contacts on the selected voice delivery paths. Everbridge provides broadcast administrators with flexible call-throttling options to configure broadcast rules based on their organization's best practices to optimize their Emergency Notification System.

Broadcast throttling, also known as call throttling or broadcast delivery throttling gives you the ability to control how many phone calls can be active at any given time, allowing organizations to avoid overwhelming an office telephone network or rural community which does not have the capacity to handle Everbridge's full call volume all at once. This helps to ensure calls are not dropped due to capacity.

How to Configure Broadcast Throttling Rules

  • Broadcast throttling is part of the Mass Notification applications and is enabled in the manager portal by going to Settings > Notifications > Broadcast Throttling
  • Broadcast delivery throttling applies to all voice paths when sending non-priority or priority notifications, including send broadcast, polling broadcast, and broadcasts through the Universe tab using Geo-Location to identify recipients.
  • Rules Configuration allows you to define a standalone default rule, one or more custom rules, or define a combination of rules. At broadcast time, the most specific rule will apply to any voice paths.
  • The default rule will apply to all voice paths not included in a custom rule. If the default rule is blank, any voice calls to phone numbers not included in a custom rule will not be throttled.
  • Preferences settings determine how the broadcast delivery throttling will be applied to notifications. Apply to all notifications will cause throttling to be applied by default to all broadcasts, but the broadcast initiator can disable it for a broadcast. However, you can choose to enforce throttling and not allow the message initiator to disable throttling. You can also display the rules to a message initiator without allowing them to change the rules.
  • Checking Apply to all notifications applies your broadcast throttling preferences to all notifications that you send by default.
  • Checking Require on all notifications applies the broadcast throttling preferences to all notifications and message initiators will not be able to change settings.
     

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How to Determine Broadcast Throttling Rule Values

A best practice is to contact your local Telco or your office IT department to find out what these limits are. Below are two sample messages that could be used for this. 

To use with your local Telcos:

We recently invested in a Mass Notification system to send emergency voice notifications to the residents in our jurisdiction.  To ensure we can successfully deliver a call to everyone and to avoid causing congestion on your end, we need to know how many inbound long distance simultaneous calls your system can connect, per exchange (area code + prefix).  With this information, we can configure our system to ensure our concurrent call connections remain well below that limit.  Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

To use with your office IT:

We recently invested in a Mass Notification system to send emergency voice notifications to our employees.  To ensure we can successfully deliver a call to everyone, we need to know how many inbound long distance simultaneous calls our system can connect.  With this information, we can configure our system to ensure our concurrent call connections remain well below that limit.

Once you have the information on limits, we recommend setting thresholds at 60% to 80% of the limit. Thresholds are configured in the Organization settings as noted above in the section "How to Configure Broadcast Throttling Rules". Configuration details can also be found in the online help linked from that page.

After any large notification to your landline infrastructure, Everbridge advises reviewing your Detailed Notification Analysis, located on the Reports Tab. If there is a large percentage of "Not Delivered - Communication Error" or "Attempted - Not Connected" values, then it is possible (but not definite) that an overload of phone lines has occurred. You would want to then evaluate your Notification Details report to identify where overloads occurred. Please note that Telco providers may potentially change their call volumes at any time, without warning. It is important to monitor your Call Results for all Notifications sent from the Everbridge system.

If you cannot obtain throttling information from the local Telco, evaluating notification results is the best option for identifying appropriate throttling rules.

**Pro-Tip: Engage your local Telco provider(s) in your Emergency Planning Committee to plan for these items in advance.**

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