ANACOM sets more demanding goals to safeguard access to postal services

After an earlier proposal was rejected, CTT has presented a new proposal on postal network density, which, ANACOM considers, responds to the concerns raised by the regulator as regards postal establishments. Nevertheless, in order to strengthen guarantees of availability, accessibility and quality of universal service provision, ANACOM has determined additional, more demanding objectives, to ensure that the population's access to postal services is properly safeguarded.

In the case of rural areas, ICP-ANACOM has incorporated an additional requirement to improve the local population's access to the postal network: where populations are located more than 10 km from a postal establishment, CTT is required to ensure that postal staff also perform itinerant operations to provide services, including the sale of stamps and pre-franked envelopes, the acceptance of normal and registered mail and the payment of postal orders at customers' homes.

ANACOM also considered that CTT's proposal failed to take account of the resident population in more populated urban areas. In fact, CTT had proposed that one establishment should be located in municipalities with more than 20 thousand inhabitants, providing all services, with an additional establishment for each additional 20 thousand inhabitants. ANACOM considers that this proposal is an improvement on the one that preceded it, but that it does not yet adequately guarantee access to postal services by the resident population in parishes with more than 10 thousand inhabitants. Therefore, ANACOM has required CTT to provide at least one postal establishment providing all services in every parish with more than 10 thousand residents.

meanwhile, it is considered that CTT's new proposal already enables improved access to the postal network by the population, since at least 95% of the population must be located within 6 km of a postal establishment, and at least 97.5% of population located within 8.5 km of a postal establishment providing the full range of concession services for the casual user segment.

As regards letterboxes, ANACOM considers that CTT's proposal represents a step backwards from the present situation, since it proposes a ratio of 1,200 inhabitants per letterbox against the current ratio of 1,173 inhabitants per letterbox; this would represent a deterioration of the current situation, which already lags the EU average. ANACOM calls for an increase in the number of existing letterboxes and improved geographic dispersion, establishing that there is to be no less than one letterbox per 1,100 inhabitants.

Meanwhile, ANACOM accepted CTT's proposal of having a letterbox in each parish. Currently only 86% of parishes have a letterbox and CTT proposes that at least one letterbox should be located in every parish by the second quarter of 2015.

This draft decision is now subject to a prior hearing of CTT and a hearing of users - these parties are given until 28 July to respond and comment.