Correction – Poscodes will not be free

A case of the left and right hands not being connected.

This morning the BBC web site ran an article on the freeing up of the postcode dataset

“Currently organisations that want access to datasets that tie postcodes to physical locations cannot do so without incurring a charge.Following a brief consultation, the postcode information is set to be freed in April 2010.The announcement about releasing postcode data came as part of a much wider plan to use technology as part of the Smarter Government strategy. As part of this push, the government said it would start “consulting on making mapping and postcode datasets available for free reuse from April 2010.””

Within a couple of hours Giles Finnemore, the Head of Mrketing at the Address Management Unit of the Royal Mail sent an e-mail to all the current licensees of the PAF

Dear PAF(r) Customer

You may be aware of a story on the BBC website today that Government is planning to give anyone free access to postcode data.

Access to postcodes is already, and will continue to be, free to every citizen via

For the avoidance of doubt PAF(r), the Postcode Address File, remains the intellectual property of Royal Mail and is supplied and used under licence. The new and recently published licences come into effect from April 2010. There are no plans for that to change.

Maintaining a world class postal address file requires significant ongoing investment and it is right that organisations who obtain value from using the file pay to do so.

We are aware of no plans for Government to pay Royal Mail for businesses and organisations to use our address file.



Seems that Giles listening to Gordon. I wonder whether he got a call from the Cabinet Office today?

Someone is going to have to do some back pedalling here.

10/12/09 Some useful comments on the Free Our Data blog following up on this

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