Aust Post trials e-mail service

Australia Post is looking at supplementary delivery methods as electronic data transmission moves to replace "snail mail".

It is about to undertake a six-month trail of e-mail booths at post offices in NSW and the ACT in a joint venture with Telstra and WebPoint.

The service, netPost, is targeted at tourists, backpackers, students and people who want to use an alternative message carrier, Australia Post officials said. Customers can send and receive e-mail via the Internet through a "coin in the slot" kiosk.

The service will use Big Pond as an Internet service provider and customised kiosks from WebPoint. The kiosk will include a 17in monitor, compact keyboards and software to ensure secure Internet access.

Trial locations include Darlinghurst, Broadway, Tamworth, Canberra, Port Macquarie, Byron Bay and Kings Cross. Access will cost $2 for 10 minutes.

Officials for the mail carrier said Australia was one of the few countries that offered e-mail access in a post office.

Following the trial, Australia Post will decide if it will extend the project into other areas.

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