Australia Post pulls Digital MailBox offline

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Australia Post pulls Digital MailBox offline

Launch stumbles on technical issues.

Australia Post has pulled its Digital MailBox service offline after wrestling with technical issues since its launch on Tuesday evening.

The free service was announced in March and formally launched by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy last week.

It was positioned as a secure, online mail channel between consumers and their service providers, with three of the big four banks, Telstra and share registry Link Market Services among Australia Post's launch partners.

But consumers have been unable to access Digital MailBoxes so far, with a two-page registration process collecting details but redirecting users to the wrong page on Wednesday.

An Australia Post spokesperson told iTnews that it would contact registered users "when their providers have come on board and their customised MailBoxes are set up".

However, customer service representatives were advised that the service had been temporarily shut down over technical issues.

Australia Post was investigating the issues as of Friday afternoon, with no estimate of when they would be resolved.

"We’re working with our launch partners to get all of the technical aspects right," the spokesperson told iTnews.

"Then their registered Digital MailBox customers will be able nominate them as a provider so future communications can be sent straight to their Digital MailBox.

"Unfortunately the registration page did have a glitch so hopefully that will be fixed and back up and running soon."

Over the past year, government-owned Australia Post has been racing rival Digital Post for what Morgan Stanley analysts expect to be a $138 million market.

Digital Post is a joint venture between share registry Computershare and Salmat's business process outsourcing division. The latter has since been sold to Fuji Xerox.

It has yet to launch a commercial service although it entered into a private testing phase in late August.

Digital Post's service is slated to launch by the year's end, with chief executive officer Randy Dean expecting "security and the underlying knowledge of the digital realm [to be] key to the success of the digital postbox".

The Federal Court cleared Digital Post of infringing on Australia Post's name in August. Australia Post filed an appeal against the decision in early September.

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