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Regulator publishes postcodes report

Comreg published the results of its consultation on postcodes in Ireland. They’ve received a lot of expressions of support for the idea.

It’s pretty clear and well-argued. They go through the obvious issues and the various arguments for and against a postcode system (although they wisely avoid the divisive political and IR issues involved).

One interesting area that is in Comreg’s document but that I haven’t seen covered elsewhere is the ‘Small Area Spatial Code’. This is a code that the National Statistics Board proposes to introduce and use for collating statistical data. The SASC would be a bit bigger than a postcode area, and smaller than an electoral district. If anybody else has any information on this, I’d be interested to know.

It is definitely a good idea to use the one coding system for the post code and for small-area statistics. It makes sense to have a multi-purpose code, rather than a code that is solely for postal purposes. However, one concern I have about this is that it is unlikely to be straightforward to combine these two systems unless this is planned in from the very start.

This could be a little difficult to bring about, because the working group that is being set up consists entirely of players in the postal delivery area. The group is expected to take the views of government and other relevant bodies into account, but in practice, this is likely to be difficult to do unless there is wider representation on the committee.

In my own submission last year, I suggested that the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) would be the most appropriate body to take up the work of developing a standard that would be appropriately neutral across industries and companies, since NSAI has legal authority to develop and maintain industry standards as well as the resources and expertise to consult appropriately.

(Disclaimer: I am a member of an NSAI subcommittee ICTSCC/SC4.)

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