Irish Parliament Transport Subcommittee discusses Postal Services Bill

Irish Parliament Transport Subcommittee discusses Postal Services Bill

The Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Amendment Bill 2015 – the legislation which will enable the new Eircode to go live – is being reviewed today (17 June) by the Irish Parliament’s (Oireachtas) Select sub-Committee on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. As previously reported, the new postal location code system will be launched in early July – assuming that the Bill passes through the Committee stages successful – and it will assign unique seven-digit codes to all  2.2 million homes and businesses in the Irish Republic.

The system, developed by Capita Ireland, has met with criticism from some quarters. The first three digits of the code are based on major national routes and will identify the area, but the other four digits are randomly assigned – and this has proved a concern for some because the postcodes will not be sequential. This means that within a postal district of tens of thousands of properties, it will be difficult to tell if certain properties are close to each other without paying for access to the government database.

Neil McDonnell, FTA Ireland General Manager, for example, has argued: “We consider it a distortion of a fair parcel and packet distribution market that Ireland’s postcode will be a random postal address identifier, rather than a structured postcode. While An Post has long-established (and free) access to the state’s entire address database, a random postcode will impose a cost on all An Post competitors, for no operational gain, or consumer benefit.”

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