The PRC-approved version of E-COM launched on January 4, 1982 (USPS, 2008).
In setting new rates, the PRC insisted that E-COM would now have to start recovering its costs earlier than expected, beginning in 1985 rather than 1987 (PRC, 1984, pp.
The significance of the failure of E-COM resonated.
In some ways, the plight of E-COM may appear to be a trivial episode in the long history of postal service--a short-lived program that faded into obscurity.
Yet reexamining E-COM does more than illuminate the contingency of the present: It complicates and offers an important contribution to the ongoing debate about postal reform.
Recovering the story of E-COM illustrates that the pursuit of innovation is firmly rooted in postal history.