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US Postal Office jumps into cyberspace

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CIOL Bureau
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Having seen hundreds of billions of pieces of mail getting delivered without

stamps, the United States Postal Office took a major, some may say desperate,

step this week by moving into the 21st century with a delivery service that

blends lightspeed electronic mail with hand-delivered hard-copy snail mail.

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The Postal Service’s "NetPost Mailing Online,'' lets users send

electronic documents to a post office nearest to the message’s destination.

There, the document will be printed out, stapled, folded, put into an envelope

and addressed. The letter is then added to a carrier’s regular daily batch of

mail pieces to be delivered to consumers and businesses.

The cost of the service is 40 cents for a 2-page document, staple and all,

only 7 cents above the standard 33 cents first class postage rate. The Postal

Service says the service offers the benefits of delivering a hard copy of a

document to the recipient. "Our customers get a post office and a

professional printing and mailing service inside their computer, and their

customers receive professionally printed, hard-copy correspondence,'' said

Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan.

The online service will be test-marketed in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia,

New York, and Tampa, according to the postal service.

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