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 (11)

  • anon

    We really do not need to rely upon 5G or anyone else watching our every move for no added value at all, whatsoever. The 5G experiment in NYC that has been turned on since March 2020 and remains active with additional power at this very moment, had made it too uncomfortable for humans to be outside or indoors in extreme areas. People need to be outside and free to be directed towards a desired outcome. Original planning changes and so does humanity. Machine intelligence cannot complete objectives involving biological humans without directly displaying authentic empathy. This path requires humility, honesty, compassion, love, peace, respect, comprehension and care for all things to achieve empathy. Not 5G!

    Jan 06, 2021
  • anon

    This is a brilliant post, thank you for sharing about next generation connectivity postal service roles 5g and broadband deployment. We always tend to change something or the other in our house, thanks for this great advice.

    Dec 28, 2020
  • anon

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    Dec 24, 2020
  • anon

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    Nov 04, 2020
  • 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

    What LMF said. In fact, the USPS computer network is one of the largest in the world, and is eminently capable to expand and govern broadband to every address in the nation. USPS could host post office terminals as public libraries do. As suggested, USPS can host fast wireless as well. Further, USPS can easily restore postal banking, originally in operation from 1911-1967 and only killed based on Congress's justification that the commercial banking system had recovered (forty years later) from the depression. On that note, let's not forget Checkfree, with which USPS helped pioneer electronic bill payment. USPS has served the public good since before we were a nation. Its consistent fulfillment of its service mandate despite damage done to the Post Office over the past half century (and, critically, over the past fifteen years) continues to earn public trust the likes of which no other government agency has enjoyed. Enabling USPS to serve Americans in diverse competencies can only promote trust in government, which we need in order to survive.

    Mar 30, 2021
  • 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
  • anon

    You don’t believe people in rural America deserve high-speed broadband Internet?

    Dec 17, 2020
  • anon

    We already have that Eric Xiao Young Chong

    Jan 06, 2021