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

Ch. 7-Telecommunication and Computer Industries, EMS Privacy and Security, and USPS Long-Term Viability .83

It also seems likely that Generation II EMS
service could help to meet the needs of small
mailers of all kinds, even though the service
may be of greatest absolute economic benefit
to large mailers. For example, as of February
1982, over 90 business mailers had applied to
USPS for technical certification to use E-COM
service, including such high volume mailers as
Shell Oil Co., Equitable Life Assurance Co.,
and Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith.
However, at least three of the telecommunica
tion carriers that have applied for dedicated
access (ITT World Communications, TRT
Communications Corp., and Netword, Inc.) in
tend to offer batch mailings from low volume
mailers to meet the 200 message minimum
volume requirement for E-COM use. A spokes
man for ITT World Communications has indi
cated that "ITT would allow customers to
mail as few as 25 letters per mailing" and then
consolidate orders to meet E-COM volume re
quirements.
In the longer term, it is possible that a
USPS Generation II EMS capability, perhaps
combined with a scaled down version of the
"Selz, "Electronic Mail, " op. cit.

USPS infrastructure and delivery network,
could be used to provide other Federal Govern
ment services. For example, with proper inter
connection and technical enhancements, a
Generation II system might be used by USPS
to provide printing and delivery of various
Government forms and documents This kind
of role would, of course, compete to some ex
tent with functions now carried out by the
Government Printing Office, the National
Technical Information Service, and other Fed
eral agencies, but might prove to be more cost
effective in the long run. This role might even
be extended to include provision of abstracts
of and indexes to Government forms, docu
ments, and other kinds of Government infor
mation. These possibilities, too, deserve fur
ther study.
See Robert W. Anthony, Lynne Filderman, Henry Freed
man, and Henry H. Hitchcock, Strategy for Decisions: APWU
and the Electronic Information Revolution, The George
Washington University Program of Policy Studies in Science
and Technology, Washington, D. C., Mar. 1, 1980; and Alfred
M. Lee and Arnim H. Meyburg, The Impact of Electronic
Message transfer on USPS Operations, Working Paper No. 3,
Cornell University Program on Science, Technology, and Socie
ty, September 1980. Also see Electronic Computer Orginated
Mail, " Technology Watchvol. 2, No. 2,December 1981, p. 2.

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 August 27, 2014.