In country

USPS serves customers from coast to coast, but the organization is particularly important to rural customers.

Under its “universal service obligation,” the Postal Service delivers all mail to all addresses in the United States. This includes rural communities, small towns and remote areas where other delivery services don’t operate because it wouldn’t be profitable.

In fact, other shippers rely on USPS to deliver their packages to rural addresses. Through the organization’s “last mile” package business, these parcels enter the network at local Post Offices, then rural carriers deliver them to customers’ homes.

Mail remains important to rural customers, too. More than 14 million people in rural areas lack access to broadband, according to Federal Communications Commission data. This makes the Postal Service a lifeline for customers who rely on the mail to pay bills and receive Social Security checks.

Many rural customers also turn to the mail to vote and complete their census questionnaires.

Altogether, the Postal Service has more than 130,000 rural carriers and part-time rural carriers who serve 46.1 million rural delivery points.

About the Business,” a regular feature in Link, looks at the business of USPS.