Implications of Electronic Mail and Message Systems for the U.S. Postal Service

32 .Implications of Electronic Mail and Message Systems for the U.S. Postal Service

messages will elect Generation III instead of
hardcopy delivery when it suits their purposes
or is convenient to do so, regardless of whether
the hardcopy comes from conventional mail
or is the output of a Generation II system.
Thus, the rate of penetration of Generation III
is not likely to be significantly affected by the
state of penetration of Generation II.
It may also be thought that Generation III
is but a simple extension of Generation II
perhaps just running a telecommunication line
from a Generation II terminus to the ultimate
user. In this view, earlier introduction of
Generation II would speed the introduction of
Generation III. However, many Generation
III EMS systems are quite different in char
acter from Generation II EMS systems.
Therefore, sending greeting cards by view
data, transmitting bills or statements between
computers, reading messages from a comput
er based message system, or placing orders
against a supplier using an online catalog and
order entry system are not functional exten
sions of a store and forward message system
like that which forms the basis for Generation
II. Both developer and user decisions for Gen
eration III message systems are expected to
be quite independent of the status of Genera
tion II.
Alternative Generation II
Growth and Timing Estimates
The assumptions outlined above for the
growth and timing of Generation II EMS are
intentionally on the high side (i.e., optimistic
in terms of rate and extent of development),
but still are plausible in terms of technical,
economic, and market realities. Henceforth,
this set of assumptions will be referred to as
the baseline alternative for Generation II
EMS development.
In order to test the sensitivity of the market
penetration model and the projected mail vol
umes to changes in the baseline Generation II
EMS assumptions, OTA has defined three
other alternatives, as presented in table 7: 1)
very high Generation II EMS growth, 2) mod
erate Generation II EMS growth, and 3) slow

Table 7.-Assumptions for Generation II Growth
Alternatives
High but plausible Generation II EMS growth (baseline
alternative):
.Peak volume (year 1995) about 60 to 75 percent of RCA
projected year 2000 volume
.Early Generation 11-5 percent penetration in 1983
initial growth rate 30 percent
.Advanced Generation 11-5 percent penetration in 1995
initial growth rate 20 percent
Very high Generation II EMS growth:
* Peak volume (year 1995) about 110 to 130 percent of
RCA projected year 2000 volume
* Early Generation 11-5 percent penetration in 1983
initial growth rate 40 percent
*Advanced Generation I 1-5 percent penetration in 1992
(accelerated by 3 years)
initial growth rate 30 percent
Moderate Generation II EMS growth:
.Early Generation 11-5 percent penetration in 1987
(delayed by 4 years)
*.Peak volume (year 2000) same as very high alternative
peak in 1995
.Advanced Generation 11-5 percent penetration in 1993
.Initial growth rates same as very high growth alterna-
tive
Slow Generation II EMS growth
.Peak volume (year 2000) about 25 percent of RCA pro-
jected year 2000 volume
.Generation II growth rates cut in half compared to
moderate growth alternative-20 percent for Early
Generation II
-15 percent for Ad-
vanced Generation II
SOURCE Office of Technology Assessment (see fig 8, ch 4, for graphic com-
parison of alternatives)
Generation II EMS growth. When compared
to the 1977 estimates made by RCA for the
USPS with respect to EMSS,the baseline
alternative (high but plausible Generation II
growth) would project a peak volume of about
60 to 75 percent of the RCA peak of 25 billion
messages. The very high growth alternative
would project a peak of 110 to 130 percent of
the RCA peak, and the slow growth alterna
tive about 25 percent of the RCA peak. The
moderate growth alternative would project a
peak of 55 to 65 percent of the RCA peak, but
would show a growth track substantially slow
er than the baseline alternative but faster than
the slow growth alternative. (See ch. 4, fig. 8,
for a graphical comparison.)
'RCA Government Communications Systems Division, Elec
tronic Message Service System: Growth and Economic Anal
yses, Camden, N. J., 1977, p. 6 13.

United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment. Implications of Electronic Mail and Message Systems for the U.S. Postal Service. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc39480/. Accessed December 18, 2014.