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Considering a technology refresh or network upgrade? Now is the ideal time

A 10 percent tariff is now imposed on some $200 billion worth of imported goods and that figure could increase to 25 percent.
Dec 1, 2018

PITTSBURGH – If you’re planning a technology refresh or a network upgrade, you might want to think about doing it soon.

A 10 percent tariff is now imposed on some $200 billion worth of imported goods and that figure could increase to 25 percent in 2019.

While consumer-connected devices like smartwatches and Bluetooth speakers were spared from the tax, networking and telecom equipment, including routers and switches, was not.

Groups like the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) say the tariffs could slow the rollout of 5G and closing of the digital divide.

“[These] tariffs target equipment essential for next-generation telecom technology that will enable network-based innovations like Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of Things,”

Cinnamon Rogers, senior vice president of government affairs for TIA, told Multichannel News. “Taxing the network equipment used to deliver these services and devices will handicap America amid a global race for technology leadership.”

Technology companies like Dell and HP have been outspoken against the tariffs saying they will “impede the development and adoption of cloud-based services and infrastructure.”

While some manufacturers have publicly stated they plan to increase prices, it remains to be seen what the majority will do.

If the cost is passed along to suppliers, many, like DES, will be forced to raise prices.

“If we’re faced with a price increase, we will be forced to pass it along to our customers,” DES Vice President Chuck Roberts said.

“We can’t predict the future. What we do know are the prices from our manufacturers today,” he continued, adding, “If you’re planning on a technology refresh or an upgrade, now would be the ideal time.”

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) will be raising the price of its OmniSwitch LAN and OmniAccess Stellar WLAN by 10 percent effective January 2019.

Aruba increased prices by five percent on November 1 and said additional increases would be likely.

Barracuda raised prices effective Dec. 1, 2018. Essentials, PhishLine and Sentinel increased by 5 percent, all forms of Email Security Gateway, including Vx, Cloud models, Renewals, IR and Subs, increased 25 percent, and everything else increased by 10 percent.

Juniper said it would be passing on the unmitigable portion of the tariff costs to its partners and customers but was “diligently working to mitigate the added burden.”

For more information on the tariffs or for a price quote, contact your DES representative or email

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