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

Ch. 8-Congressional Policy Considerations .89

Provide a Clear Direction for USPS

Involvemen
There are essentially nine major alternatives
for a USPS role in EMS. Variations on each
are possible.
1. USPS would deliver the hardcopy printed
output of industry EMS services when desired
and at the discretion of industry. USPS would
not otherwise participate in EMS. This role
would presume that hardcopy output is an
cillary to communication services subject to
the Communications Act and outside the
scope of the Postal Act or PES.
2. USPS would deliver the hardcopy printed
output of all industry EMS services when con
veyed over postal roads (routes served by
USPS), with exceptions for time sensitive let
ters. USPS would not otherwise participate in
EMS. This role would be based on current
USPS interpretation of PES.
3. USPS would deliver the hardcopy printed
output as in 2 above, but would also permit
the location of carrier Generation II EMS ter
minal equipment on USPS premises. This
would be similar to the current role of USPS
in Western Union's Mailgram service, except
that equipment from several carriers, not just
Western Union, would be located on premises.
These carriers would then be permitted to in
terconnect with USPS facilities.
4. USPS would deliver the hardcopy output
from industry EMS as in 2 above, and would
also provide printing and enveloping portions
of EMS when desired by and to meet the speci
fications of industry (within reason). Here,
USPS would offer a range of options with re
spect to number of pages, paper style and for
mat, envelope logo, and possibly inserts to
meet varied needs of carriers and their cus
tomers. All carriers (defined as in E COM to
include all message processing companies)
would be permitted to interconnect with USPS
facilities either on a dedicated or dial up basis.
This would be similar to E COM, except that
carriers would be able to retain their individual
identity (through use of logo envelopes and

t in EMS
possibly letterhead paper) and meet a wider
range of mailer needs (through variable letter
lengths and possibly inserts).
5. USPS would deliver the hardcopy output
from industry EMS and would provide print-
ing and enveloping portions of EMS on a
standardized basis available to all carriers and
mailers (within reasonable limits). This would
be similar to the current role of USPS in
E COM. All messages would be no more than
2 pages in length, be printed on identical
paper, and use E COM logo envelopes. Other
than standardized business reply envelopes,
inserts are not possible. Carriers would be per
mitted to interconnect as in 4 above.
6. USPS would provide printing, enveloping,
and telecommunication portions of EMS and
physically deliver hardcopy output. USPS
would lease telecommunication facilities from
private industry, and would also provide in
terconnection for industry carriers. This would
be similar to the USPS role in E COM if there
is a "demonstrated need" for USPS provision
of telecommunication as well as printing, en
veloping, and delivery.
7. USPS would provide printing, enveloping,
the telecommunication portions of EMS, and
physical delivery, as in 6 above, plus electronic
delivery if there is a "demonstrated need" for
certain geographical areas that can no longer
sustain conventional mail service at com-
parable levels. USPS would lease or contract
for telecommunication and electronic delivery
facilities on a competitive basis from private
industry, and would also provide interconnec
tion for industry telecommunication carriers.
8. Combination of 4 and 6.
9. Combination of 4 and 7.
All of these alternatives are technically
feasible. In evaluating each, Congress may
wish to take into account the following con
siderations.

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 July 14, 2014.