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Access to free PAF® sample data

Access to free PAF sample data
In May, the Royal Mail Address Management Unit launched a new service whereby developers and programmers could download sample address data from the Postcode Address File (PAF) for free. Initially, software developers have been able to download all address and postcode records from the Plymouth (PL) Postcode Area in CSV format. To date, 161 developers have registered and downloaded the PAF sample data from

Developer feedback
All of the developers have been contacted shortly after downloading their data to ensure that they have found it easy to register and access the data and to understand how they intend to use the data itself. The feedback from the developers has been very positive and we are pleased that they are finding our process so straightforward. The developers have also given us some good suggestions about what other address and postcode datasets they would be interested in using as part of their software development activity.

Widening access to address management sample data
We are currently looking at how we can provide software developers and programmers with greater access to our range of address management datasets. Our intentions are three fold:

  1. To provide sample data for two Postcode Areas rather than just one
  2. To extend the proposition so that in addition to PAF data, developers will also be able to download our other complementary datasets including British Forces Post Office (BFPO) Postcode Data, Just Built, Multiple Residence, Not Yet Built and the Unique Delivery Point Reference Number (UDPRN)
  3. To provide all sample data in CSV and as Raw Data

We hope to be able to provide access to these additional sample datasets before the end of 2012.

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