Times are changing with postal services around the world thanks to people's reliance on smart phones and email.
New Zealand recently agreed to cut its mail delivery to three days a week in urban areas and five days a week in rural areas, since they're more reliant on mail, by 2015. Normally, mail is delivered six days a week.
The New Zealand Post fought for the change since it currently barely breaks even. If the normal delivery schedule continue, the service would be put it in the red, according to the Telegraph.
During the last 10 years, the amount of mail sent has dropped by a quarter and it's expected to continue rapidly dropping. The nation continues to lose another eight per cent each year, the communications minister told the Telegraph.
Anyone looking for daily mail deliveries can sign up for a premium courier-type service, but it will be interesting to see how businesses and newspapers adjust to this change.
Meanwhile, Canada Post looks like it is in a boat that is steadily sinking. The Crown Corporation saw a $104-million loss in Q2 of this year and it expects a huge loss in 2013. As if that was not enough, they are expected to face a yearly loss of $1 billion by 2020, according to a report produced by the Conference Board of Canada.
It's important to point out that its letter delivery dropped by 51 million pieces since Q2 of 2012, while parcel packages have grown thanks to more online shopping. Unfortunately, the letters, otherwise known as transaction mail, which includes bills and statements, account for 50 percent of the company's revenue. Tough times are ahead, especially with companies pushing paperless billing.
At least there is some hope for Canada Post's parcel delivery. Canada Post recently announced a partnership with Walmart, Best Buy and Indigo to try same-day delivery. Anyone who orders items by midday can expect to receive it in the evening. A pilot program is being tested in Toronto.
Some of the cost-cutting options floated around include getting rid of door-to-door delivery mail in urban areas, which is available to one-third of Canadians, which could cut the bleeding by about half, the Conference Board told the CBC. Canada Post is also looking into consolidating mail processing, implementing new technology for sorting and shortening hours at slower retail locations.
While residential owners might not mind a shift in the number of deliveries a week, apparently it will be a bigger issue for small business owners who are more reliant on the regular postal service.
But let's face it, drops in mail service are being felt around the world. The U.S. Postal Service planned to cut Saturday mail service, but it faced resistance, while Britain recently privatized its mail service, Royal Mail. Who knows if other countries' mail services will follow New Zealand's route.
Would you mindless frequent mail
It's a little bit like the lyrics to the current Katy Perry song: You're hot, then you're cold, You're yes then you're no, You're in then you're out, You're up then you're down.
We are referring here to the CRTC and the issue of internet speed for small service providers who buy pipe from large players like Bell, Telus and Rogers.
A few weeks ago, the federal telecom and broadcast regulator said that it would not intervene in allegations that certain companies moved some data at slower speeds than others. It did, however, agree to hold hearings into the regulation of the internet next summer.
Now, however, it has issued a new decision that orders Big Telco to offer the same net speeds to small wholesale customers that they sell to their own retail customers In doing that, the CRTC rejects the argument that having to do that will discourage investment in new, higher-speed infrastructure.
That argument tends to get trotted out whenever a new source of competition surfaces for incumbent market players - it was last heard in the bitter squabble over who should be allowed to bid in the last auction of wireless spectrum. (The government ultimately allowed special terms for new entrants to help them enter the market.)
Before it gets too much further down this road, the CRTC doesn't ask too many questions for which it doesn't already have answers. This is a very swampy area of policy with an exceptionally high emotional quotient. There is a significant contingent of people who passionately believe the internet represents a form of pure, unsullied access to communication for all. And they are pitted against those who believe it's just another business.
In other words, it's a looming smackdown between unicorns and butterflies, bears and