Fastforward -

The FASTforward system contains more than 21 million permanent change-of-address (COA) records filed with the Postal Service by relocating customers who want their mail forwarded to their new address. These COA records reflect a 6-month period relative to the move-effective date the customer provided. FASTforward COA data is updated weekly.

The FASTforward system consists of a licensed computer system containing FASTforward name- and address-matching software and the COA database. The Postal Service is the sole owner and distributor of the FASTforward hardware and software components that comprise the FASTforward system. Specifically, this includes the FASTforward software, the computer system itself, and the small computer systems interface (SCSI) cable that connects the FASTforward system to the licensee-owned or -leased system components. The FASTforward system is the sole property of the United States Postal Service, © 1996, All Rights Reserved.

FASTforward is available in two separate and distinct versions. The original FASTforward application was developed to interface with commercial mail-processing equipment, such as multiline optical character readers (MLOCRs) and remote video encoding (RVE) stations. Licensed systems are required to have a FASTforward interface that meets USPS specifications (contact your equipment manufacturer for details and pricing on this modification). In this application, FASTforward licensees redirect previously prepared mailpieces to the intended recipientís new address. The specific information (new address) is obtained through a matching process of the MLOCR optic lift (or RVE keyed data) from the mailpiece name and address against the national database of permanent COAs filed during the preceding 6 months. Address change information is therefore provided for application to the mailpiece only for those articles that, in fact, have a matching name and old address present. Any new address provided by FASTforward as the result of a match is appended with the ZIP+4/DPC information along with a text representation of the new (forwarded to) address. This returned information is applied to the mailpiece in real time by the MLOCR system.

The second version, FASTforward for Mailing List Correction, provides FASTforward licensees the ability to update computer-based name and address mailing lists electronically prior to the creation of the mailpiece. This version also requires licensees to have a FASTforward interface that meets Postal Service specifications. However, the new address information is obtained through a matching process of the name and address contained in the mailing list against the national database of permanent COAs filed during the preceding 6 months. Again, address change information is only provided for those records that, in fact, have a matching name and old address present. In the event that new address information is returned, the effective date of the move and the carrier identification for the new address are also returned. This returned information is used to update the mailing list.

Expected Benefits
FASTforward is a USPS-approved option for mailers to meet the move update requirement, which takes effect on July 1, 1997. When FASTforward is utilized in conjunction with either MLOCR (and/or RVE) processing or mailing list correction services, mailpieces avoid the delays associated with traditional mail-forwarding activities.

Current Status
Applications for licensing FASTforward are now being accepted. Interested parties should request information by writing to the address below. In addition, they should contact their equipment manufacturers for information on obtaining the FASTforward interface system.

Reference Documents
You can obtain the FASTforward licensing information package by writing to the following address:

MEMPHIS TN 38166-2260

Please include name, address, phone number, and choice of license (MLOCR/RVE or Mailing List Correction).

For additional information, contact the FASTforward department at 1-800-589-5766.

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