Policy updated as of September 28, 2020.
With the 2020 election rapidly approaching, it is clear that it will look like none other in history. Typically, in-person activities like door-to-door canvassing, campaign rallies, and polling places are critical to voter turnout and engagement. However, due to COVID-19, the landscape has significantly shifted to digital mediums. Candidates and civic engagement organizations are turning to virtual town halls, virtual rallies and relying heavily on texting, paid media, and email to help people register, request mail-in ballots, and cast their votes.
During this time, Twilio’s secure, flexible, and scalable Customer Engagement Platform provides a key avenue for voter engagement. In the days and weeks leading up to elections, we anticipate a significant uptick in U.S. 10-digit Long Code provisioning and messaging. However, the reality is there are ecosystem-wide limitations around throughput capacity and phone number availability, meaning demand could outweigh supply at certain points.
It is our utmost priority to ensure our customers have access to phone number inventory as well as a secure and reliable network. Organizations use Twilio for a wide array of critical communications, from delivery notifications, to health and safety alerts, to get-out-the-vote campaigns, and more. A secure and reliable messaging platform empowers all customers to consistently reach their end users. When it’s known that the messaging ecosystem will experience such a large influx of critical communications, the most valuable offering a vendor can provide is a strategy to maintain uptime. It’s simply a must-have, as downtime leads to minutes or hours with zero communication.
Through years of experience serving customers during communication surges on black friday, election days, and more, Twilio has combined data-driven decision making and network expertise alongside full customer transparency to ensure our customers are able to take a strategic, informed approach in delivering messages at scale. We see ourselves as true partners and, as such, believe customers should understand both the possibilities and the limitations of sending significantly high-volume messages.
In order to ensure fair access to a reliable Twilio network for all of our customers during these unprecedented times, we are implementing a Heightened Awareness Period effective October 2, 2020 through November 4, 2020. During this Heightened Awareness Period, customers will be allowed to add up to 1,000,000 additional U.S. 10-digit Long Codes. Our phone number inventory is available on a first come, first served basis and, while availability is not guaranteed, our team is regularly adding additional numbers as they become available. For SMS throughput, customers with fewer than 100,000 10-digit Long Codes will have a maximum account-level rate limit of 2,000 MPS. Those with greater than 100,000 10-digit Long Codes as of October 2, 2020 will have a maximum account-level rate limit of 4,000 MPS. Within this policy, Twilio reserves the right to move the effectives date of October 2, 2020 to an earlier date if too much capacity is allocated, putting the network at risk.
Through our analysis, we’ve concluded that these limits allow us to protect our network for all customers while still providing the volume that political candidates and civic organizations need to reliably reach their entire constituent population in an acceptable amount of time. The vast majority of our customers have never reached these limits and won’t see any effect during this period. For the customers that do reach these thresholds, they will have a more reliable and predictable experience.
We understand this is a crucial time for all customers to reach their end users and we are here to help. We believe true partnership and transparency allows us all to accomplish a shared objective of enabling engaging digital communications at scale. For any additional questions, please reach out to your Twilio point-of-contact.