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New Type of Mail Set to Revolutionise Communication

Scientists working in Cambridge University’s recently developed Centre of Communication Advancement facility claim to have completed research on a brand new medium set to revolutionise the way we communicate.

Codenamed project FAX, the research is the result of a decade of dedicated advanced research in microelectronics. “The new medium is based on cutting edge technology which builds upon recent telephone breakthroughs” lead scientist Col. Easton-Willis (Ret.) said. The technology is understood to harness the power of the telephone and fuse it with the geographical advantages provided by the mail service. “Essentially, what you have here is the ability to send a letter [without physically sending it]” Easton-Willis remarked abruptly.

It has been said that the new type of electronic letter service will deliver a letter sent via phone lines, creating a disintermediation of the postman. Preliminary tests made last year yielded the first ever fax being sent from the CCA facility to a research station in the Shetland Islands (below left).

Critics are already pointing out that despite the technology having undoubtedly massive future potential, its usage will be restricted to the domains of the rich and powerful. The chairman of communications firm British Dog and Bone plc, Sir Charles Bangston admitted that for the time being prices may prove prohibitive. “The cost of sending letters using your phone will initially be very high,” Sir Bangston said. Owing to the huge cost of putting the strings and wires in the houses of users, telephones are currently retailing for as much as £1,500, with telephone calling costing around £45 per call. FAX telephones may initially retail at double this or more; it’s uptake initially likely to be instigated by government agencies and people who want to pay their phone bills by FAX.

Sir Bangston is was also keen to talk up the advantages of the new communication. "A letter which would usually take a few days to deliver can now be sent in a matter of hours" he enthused.

The technology is not yet perfect, with minor defects still to be ironed out. In some cases, tiny guard dogs are said to electronically compliment a sent fax, reminiscent of the traditional image of dogs chasing forlorn postmen up the garden path. The electronic dog’s bite is worse than its bark, however, delivering an often fatal discharge of 20,000 volts to the recipient along with a singed and smoking letter.

Recent experiments involving an attempt to “FAX” physical objects to another telephone early last year led to failure, when scientists attempted to send pizza slices electronically. The experiment disappointed scientists by sending only a copy image of the smeared grease marks, but the theory may in time pave the way for next generation FAX teleporters, already dubbed “EMAIL”.