Jonathan Hulford-Funnell: All eyes on PAF licence changes

At the opposite end of the spectrum sits the UK. Most will be aware of the process that Royal Mail is going through to bring the Postcode Address File licence into the 21st Century. PAF now supports much more than postal deliveries, playing a crucial part in everything from identity verification to GIS mapping and customer management.

There is no question that an overhaul of the licence is necessary. But the magnitude of the task can’t be underestimated. It is common knowledge that the licence will have additional liabilities for heavier users of the file, and that those who use it less will pay less.

One of the initial challenges that Royal Mail faced was building a licence that incorporates franchises, corporate licensing and subsidiarymodels. Over the past year, other considerations have emerged such as bureaux, public sector usage and broker networks. As a result of these delays, the new licence is now likely to be issued in January 2010.

Organisations that are concerned about the proposed changes – and their financial implications – should use this opportunity to liaise with either Royal Mail or their value-added reseller to make sure their individual circumstances are understood and catered for.

While we work through the obstacles that a new licensing model presents, we must be aware that we are being watched by the world. What is important is that we emerge through this process with a commercially-sound licence, encouraging widespread use of PAF and allowing the UK to lead the globe in its approach to contact data management.

Jonathan Hulford-Funnell
Managing director
Experian MSG (EMEA) and Experian QAS Group

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