Dispatches > The Buzz

Like an e-eagle


Issue: "Locking up the big guns," Aug. 12, 2000

The U.S. Postal Service sees that its $35 billion snail-mail monopoly is in jeopardy and is looking to get into the e-mail business. Postal Service officials plan to test several new services intended to add a touch of cyberspace and hold off a decline in first-class mail. They believe first-class mail will begin an unprecedented decline thanks to e-mail and online billing. One new program would let people send messages via e-mail to the post office where they will be printed and sent as first-class mail. Another lets people pay bills at the Postal Service website.

But free e-mail accounts are available and the other services are already done by the private sector. "They're in catch-up mode," said Donald Heath, president of the nonprofit Internet Society

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