USPS inks computer deal

The U.S. Postal Service has signed contracts with two computer manufacturers to provide postal workers with computers and Internet service, but not at the big discounts originally sought.

Compaq Computer Corp. has agreed to sell computers to the agency's 800,000 employees for $590 each and up. IBM Corp. offers a machine for $719.

Compaq's price is nearly 25 percent higher and IBM's is 40 percent higher than the $432 price that USPS hoped to secure for a new computer. USPS had hoped to offer a three-year deal for computers and Internet service for about $12 a month. But the agency found that after three months of comparisons no such deal exists, spokesman Bob Anderson said.

Both systems come with software that links to a Postal Service Internet portal.

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