News and press releases

  • Royal Mail
    Royal Mail Cruciform logo
    5 August 2013
    Royal Mail launches consultation on simpler Postcode Address File licensing
  • Royal Mail has launched a consultation on a wide-ranging package of measures to simplify Postcode Address File (PAF) licensing
  • The proposals aim to incentivise take up, encourage greater use of PAF, and enable it to better meet the current and future needs of users and solutions developers in today’s marketplace
  • The consultation follows new measures designed in collaboration with Government to improve access to the Postcode Address File (PAF) for micro businesses and small charities, encouraging innovation and growth
  • Royal Mail introduced the postcode to every UK address almost 40 years ago to help it route and deliver mail. The Postcode Address file is a vital part of Royal Mail and will continue to be so
  • Since its introduction, the way in which the postcode is used has diversified and grown. PAF is now at the core of a wide range of systems and solutions which support many businesses and industries

Royal Mail has launched a consultation on a wide-ranging package of measures to simplify Postcode Address File licensing.

The proposals aim to incentivise take up, encourage greater use of PAF, and enable it to better meet the current and future needs of users and solutions developers in today’s marketplace.

The evolution of the postcode
Royal Mail introduced the postcode to every UK address almost 40 years ago to help it route and deliver mail. The Postcode Address file is a vital part of Royal Mail and will continue to be so. Since its introduction, the way in which the postcode is used has diversified and grown.

PAF is now at the core of a wide range of systems and solutions which support many businesses and industries. These range from online retailing to financial services, estate agency to emergency services, local and central government as well as Satellite Navigation systems.

Postcode information is made available to individual members of the public free of charge through Royal Mail's Postcode Finder service. The Postcode Address File is also made available to all businesses and organisations through a flexible licensing mechanism that helps towards paying for the considerable and on-going investment in the maintenance and provision of the dataset.

Royal Mail and the Government recognise that PAF is also a key component in thousands of other applications which support business efficiency and growth. We are committed to driving increased usage of this data-set and thus innovation in the data business community to the benefit of the UK economy. We recognise that further simplification and improvement to the current licensing arrangements is required.

Consultation on licensing reforms to meet the needs of today’s marketplace
Prior to the introduction of the current PAF licence, Royal Mail consulted extensively with the market and its representatives to develop a framework that offered users more choice on how to license the use of PAF. New measures such as transactional pricing and internal and external usage options were introduced. The use of PAF data has increased significantly since these new measures were implemented.

However, by listening to customers, users and the wider market, Royal Mail has recognised that a simpler approach to licensing PAF is required to meet current and future needs. Ofcom’s recent consultation on the management of PAF; along with feedback from users, support the need for greater licence simplification.

Following extensive input from Government and market representatives, Royal Mail is proposing a licensing framework that:

  • Focuses on the direct licensee and replaces the indirect licensing model
  • Minimises on-licensing and places fewer requirements on licensees than exist at present
  • Is permissive and simplifies many of the current licensing concepts
  • Simplifies pricing and reduces the number of price points
  • Replaces the 60 pages of licensing terms and conditions with around 10 pages of clear, straightforward language

Any individual, organisation or association wishing to participate in the consultation is encouraged to do so. To take part, visit www.poweredbypaf.com/end-user/licensing/licence-consultations/ All responses to the consultation should be submitted by 20 September 2013.

Improving access to micro businesses and small charities
Last month, working in collaboration with Government, Royal Mail unveiled new measures to improve access to PAF for micro businesses and small charities to encourage innovation and growth.

From the beginning of July, Royal Mail began providing free access to PAF to micro businesses and small charities. These measures will encourage innovation and growth for those businesses and organisations in the crucial first year of operation. The measures are: 

  • Free access to PAF for independent1 small charitable organisations2
  • Free access to PAF for one year for independent1 micro businesses3 to support them in developing PAF-based products and taking them to market
  • An increase in free online address look-ups on Royal Mail’s website from 15 to 50 per day

 

For further information contact: 

 

James Eadie
Director of Products and Services PR
Royal Mail Group
020 7250 2826
07850 757271
james.r.eadie@royalmail.com

 

Akudo Ike
PR Manager
07725 447937
akudo.ike@royalmail.com

 

Notes to editors:
(1)Independent - not associated or affiliated with any existing Solutions Provider
(2)Small charitable organisations – less than £10m per annum income who are registered charities or CICs
(3)Micro businesses – 1-9 employees and less than £2m turnover p.a.