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Frequently asked questions about Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP).

What are telecommunication services?
Telecommunication services are defined as the transmission, emission, or reception of intelligence of any nature, by wire, cable, satellite, fiber optics, laser, radio, visual, or other electronic, electric, electromagnetic, or acoustically coupled means, or any combination thereof.

What are National Security/Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) telecommunication services?
NS/EP telecommunication services are services used to maintain a state of readiness or to respond to and manage any event or crisis that causes or could cause injury or harm to the population or damage to or loss of property or that degrades or threatens the NS/EP posture of the United States.

How do I request Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP)?
Use the TSP Request for Service Users Form (SF 315) to request TSP provisioning (or combined provisioning and restoration). To request TSP, Register/Log In using the menu options on the right to request restoration when possible. Otherwise, use the SF 315 for restoration requests, to report changes to an existing TSP service, and/or to delete/revoke a restoration and/or provisioning priority.
Note: before using the TSP provisioning process to install new services, users should first contact their telecommunications vendors to inquire whether the need for an expedited provisioning can be met through a service level agreement.

Is there a charge for TSP?
The Federal Government does not charge for TSP, however, your vendor may have a tariff charge for TSP. For TSP restoration, typically there is a one-time setup fee and a monthly service charge to have the service available to you. However, these fees are separate from any charges related to actually installing or repairing your circuits following an emergency. Similarly, when using TSP to provision a new circuit, there is no cost from the Federal Government. However, the service provider’s charges still apply, and depending on the circumstances may be higher than normal. In any case, please contact your service provider to learn more about charges.

What is the difference between TSP Restoration and TSP Provisioning?
TSP restoration is like an insurance policy for your existing circuits (both voice and data), while TSP provisioning is for new circuits. For TSP restoration, you determine which circuits are critical to your organization and request TSP Authorization Codes for each one. Upon receipt of these codes, you give them to your service provider so that they have everything in place should an emergency require the restoration/repair of your circuits. TSP provisioning is used when you need a new circuit installed sooner than your service provider would be able to do using normal business procedures. When this happens, contact the TSP Program Office to make your request. Note that TSP provisioning is not intended to compensate for inadequate planning.

What should I do with my TSP Authorization Code after I receive it?
When you receive your TSP Authorization Code, give it to your service provider to enter into their records. Like an insurance policy, all TSP Authorization Codes must be in your provider’s network before an emergency happens. You should also maintain a copy of your TSP Authorization Codes for your records.

Can I request TSP restoration services after a disaster has occurred?
Users should be aware that TSP restoration priorities must be requested and assigned before a service outage occurs.

How long does it take for a provisioning request to be fulfilled by the telecommunications vendor?
TSP users should have realistic expectations regarding when a request for provisioned services can be filled. The “provisioning due date” data field that users complete on the TSP Request for Service Users Form (SF 315) is not necessarily the date that service will be guaranteed. The service vendor is required to make its best effort to provide essential and emergency TSP services by the requested due date. However, a number of factors, including volume of provisioning and restoration requests and work site accessibility, may cause unexpected provisioning delays.
Note: When requesting an emergency provisioning, the user point of contact (POC) should be ready to accept installation of the service immediately after making the request. The POC must also be ready to accept the service on weekends or after business hours. Generally, vendor technicians will not return to sites that refuse them access because the POC is unavailable to ensure the vendor personnel can enter the facility and begin work.

Who or what is an Invocation Official?
An Invocation Official is a designated individual with the authority and responsibility to approve the cost and criticality of a provisioning request for telecommunications service, certifying that the NS/EP service is so vital that it must be expeditiously provisioned. Invocation Officials include the head or director of a Federal agency, commander of a unified or specified military command, chief of a military service, commander of a major military command and State Governors responding to a state or local disaster and emergencies for which no Federal funding is expected to be requested. Invocation authority may be delegated to appropriate individuals within their agencies/commands/senior state officials in writing to the TSP Program Office.

How long are TSP Authorization Codes valid?
TSP Authorization Codes are valid for three years. The Federal Communications Commission requires that all users revalidate their requirement for TSP every three years before expiration of the user's TSP Authorization Code(s).

What happens if I change phone companies?
If a TSP service user changes their telephone service provider, the user must revoke the TSP Authorization codes with the TSP Program Office and request new codes to pass on to the new phone company. The new vendor must submit a TSP Confirmation for Service Vendors Form (SF 318) to the TSP Program Office, indicating the circuit ID numbers for the user's TSP assignments. Also, the previous vendor must submit a SF 318 indicating they are no longer the service provider.

What should I do if my circuit registered with TSP Restoration Priority goes out of service?
In some instances, your vendor may automatically detect the problem and will restore the service as soon as possible. However, you should also report your service problem to your service provider following your customary trouble reporting procedures. When you report the trouble, be sure to verify with your provider that the service is identified with TSP in the provider’s records. If the provider’s records do not reflect TSP, you may contact the DHS Priority Telecommunications Service Center to verify your TSP assignment and ask for the contact information for the service provider’s TSP escalation point of contact (POC). In the unlikely event that the vendor POC cannot help you, you may contact the DHS Priority Telecommunications Service Center for assistance.

What is the TSP Confirmation Process?
The TSP Confirmation process is the mechanism the TSP Program Office uses to ensure that the priority level it assigns a given circuit and the priority level the prime service vendor assigns that circuit are the same. The Federal Communications Commission's TSP program rules require vendors to submit reports to the TSP Program Office confirming the completion of all TSP service orders for which they are the prime service vendor. They must do this within 45 calendar days of completing a TSP service order.

Who do I call if I need assistance?
For assistance, please contact the DHS Priority Telecommunications Service Center toll free at 866-627-2255 (Washington D.C. metro area, please use 703-760-2255).

Last Published Date: September 30, 2015

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