September 14, 2020 (RISC-WP-20-007)

  • At a time when the Internet has become vital for telework, distance learning, and telehealth, more than 18 million Americans lack access to broadband service.
  • Several potential partnership opportunities would allow the Postal Service to help bring high-quality broadband to unserved and underserved areas in the U.S.

The Internet has dramatically changed numerous aspects of our daily lives. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it has played a critical role in allowing Americans to work, learn, and even access health care from the safety of their homes. But according to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 18 million Americans currently lack basic broadband service. With a physical presence in nearly every community in the country, the U.S. Postal Service is uniquely situated to play a role in helping bring 5G and broadband service to those areas of the country currently unserved or underserved.

The OIG found there are several potential partnership opportunities that would allow the Postal Service to help bring high-quality broadband to areas where it is currently lacking. These would include colocation of critical infrastructure at Postal Service facilities, positioning them as digital hubs and leveraging USPS resources to collect valuable data about broadband coverage in remote areas. Such an undertaking would serve to further cement the Postal Service’s already critically important role in American life.

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Comments (4)

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  • anon

    Great initiative from USPS. There is definitely different type of opportunities exist to participate in 5G deployment from cell tower to hosting edge computing. Apart from that it can be further extended to be even broadband work spaces that people can rent and work ( subleased for broadband cafe specially in Rural areas)

    Oct 07, 2020
  • anon

    This is a great way for the Post Office to help all of us to secure the future of communications! If the Post Office can secure these telecommunications pathways, they can ensure that they are affordable and accessible for every American. The Post Office has always been trustworthy when it came to the mail, I would much rather trust them with my email and browser history than the giant telecoms who we know are selling our info. Those companies operate without oversite or regulation, but the Post Office is not like that. So if my information is out there, and there is money to be made off of it, I think most of us would prefer it be in the Post Office's trustworthy capable hands. And, that the profits to be made it go to the Post Office, and by proxy, into the pockets of the American people.

    Oct 06, 2020
  • anon

    Maybe the USPS should worry about delivering a first class letter in less than 3 weeks before they worry about 5G.

    Sep 15, 2020
  • anon

    Nobody cares about 5G. Just do your one job.

    Sep 21, 2020

Contributors

  • Richard Schadelbauer, John Althen, Kelly Delaney, Jeffrey Colvin and Samuel Yirenkyi contributed to this report.

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