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November 6
November 6, 2009


Intelligent Mail Services Special Update


New Barcode Readability Standards:  Working through the Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC), the Postal Service™ and the mailing industry have agreed to set an 80% threshold for barcode readability verifications for letter and flat mailings using the Intelligent Mail barcodes.  


This change is effective on November 30, 2009. The threshold since July 2009 was 70%.  Mailings that are verified and that have a barcode readability score of below 80% will not be eligible for automation or Full-Service prices.  Further agreement was reached to revise the barcode readability verification threshold to 90% effective March 15, 2010.  


Similar to the POSTNET barcode, mailers are achieving very good readability scores on MERLIN® for Intelligent Mail barcodes.  MERLIN scores for the period October 3, 2009 to November 2, 2009 are reflected below and will be posted on  Monthly updates on MERLIN readability scores will be posted on RIBBS.  


Barcode Type

Percentage of Mailing achieving 90% and over



Intelligent Mail Barcode Letter




Intelligent Mail Barcode Flats



Barcode readability verifications are routinely performed on automation price mailings using the Mail Evaluation Readability and Lookup Instrument (MERLIN).  Samples from the mailing are processed on MERLIN and evaluated for mail preparation including presort and barcode readability quality.  Based on verification results additional postage may be calculated.  Mailers may elect to pay additional postage or withdraw a mailing that fails verification standards. 


PostalOne!® and FAST® Outages:  PostalOne! Release 22.0.0 will be implemented on Saturday, November 14 from 10:00 pm CST through Sunday, November 15 at 10:00 am CST for PostalOne! Production. The outage for PostalOne! Production will be approximately 12 hours. During this outage, the PostalOne! application will not be available. PostalOne! Release 22.0.0 will be migrated to the PostalOne!  


Test Environment for Mailers (TEM ) on Sunday, November 15 from 8:00 am through 4:00 pm CST. The outage for PostalOne! TEM will be approximately eight hours. During this outage, the PostalOne! TEM environment will not be available. 

FAST Release 13.1.0 will be deployed Sunday, November 15 from 4:00am CT through 8:00 am CT for FAST Production.  The outage for FAST Production will be approximately four hours. FAST Release 13.1.0 will be migrated to the FAST TEM on Sunday, November 15 from 8:00 am through 12:00 pm CST.


WEBINAR: Submitting Postage Statements Between November 15 and November 29:  PostalOne!® Release 22 will deploy on November 15 in support of the Full-Service discount that becomes effective November 29. Postage statements have been modified in support of the Full-Service discounts and other changes. On Friday, November 13, 2:00-4:00 PM EST, we will present a webinar entitled Submitting Postage Statements Between November 15 and November 29.


This webinar will explain how postage statements will be handled in the timeframe between November 15 and November 29, especially in support of Full-Service. It will address the timeframe when the new postage statements can be used. It will explain the process for submitting Full-Service postage statements on or prior to November 29 for Plant Verified Drop shipment (PVDS) mailings that will not be entered in the mail system until after November 30.  The web conference link and telephone number are posted on RIBBS>Intelligent Mail Services>Latest News.