Call for input: The future of the universal postal service

Published: 24 January 2024
Consultation closes: 3 April 2024
Status: Closed (pending statement)

Postal services remain a vital communications tool for many people and businesses, but the way people use postal services has changed substantially. Since the Postal Services Act was passed in 2011, the legal obligations on the universal service provider Royal Mail have largely remained the same while letter volumes have halved, and parcel deliveries have become increasingly important.

As the UK’s postal regulator, Ofcom oversees the universal postal service, making sure it meets people’s needs while also considering its financial sustainability and efficiency. Royal Mail is required to deliver the universal service, and its obligations include offering to deliver letters Monday-Saturday and parcels Monday-Friday as well as offering two delivery speeds for its main universal service products: First Class (next day) and Second Class (within three days). These obligations have not changed since 2011, despite significant changes in postal markets.

This document sets out evidence that suggests the universal service needs to change to better align with the needs of consumers and to ensure it can continue to be affordable and sustainable in the future. We are seeking input from all interested parties on our assessment, so there can be an informed public debate on how the specification should be modernised for the future.


How to respond

Future development of the postal USO team
Riverside House
2A Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
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