Statement: Modifications of the USP Access Condition for regulating access to Royal Mail’s postal network

  • Start: 11 November 2020
  • Status: Statement published
  • End: 23 December 2020

Access mail is the main form of competition in the letters market in the UK and is facilitated by access to Royal Mail’s postal network. This means other bulk mail providers collect mail from businesses and other organisations, sort it, and then insert it into Royal Mail’s network for delivery.

Access to Royal Mail’s postal network is currently regulated by Ofcom via the Universal Service Provider Access condition. The current USPA condition requires that Royal Mail provides services that are delivered within two working days from the sender posting and includes a margin squeeze control as well as other ancillary access obligations. Mandated D+2 access services ensure that, once an access item enters Royal Mail’s network, Royal Mail delivers that item to the recipient the next working day.

On 4 January 2021, Royal Mail introduced a new suite of access services. The new services defer the mail until there is another item already being delivered to the recipient’s address, subject to a maximum of four working days after it enters the network. We expect that these services will become important for access operators and could account for a material proportion of access volumes in the future. Consequently, we anticipate that D+5 Letters access services will become important in maintaining effective competition in bulk mail services, promoting efficiency within Royal Mail’s delivery operations and delivering benefits to users of postal services.

In November 2020, we published a consultation proposing to bring the new services within the scope of the USPA condition. This statement sets out our decision, following that consultation.

Main documents

Supporting documents

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Responder name Type
CFH (PDF File, 110.5 KB) Organisation
Citizens Advice Scotland (PDF File, 210.2 KB) Organisation
Critiqom (PDF File, 177.5 KB) Organisation
CWU (PDF File, 177.3 KB) Organisation
FCS LaserMail (PDF File, 159.9 KB) Organisation
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