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Username: mlareau
Date/Time: Fri, October 20, 2000 at 10:20 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.01 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Please support .co-op TLD


        On behalf of the 1,000 rural utility cooperative members of the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, I am writing to urge ICANN to approve the proposal for a .co-op top-level domain.  The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) and Poptel are proposing .co-op with the full endorsement of the International Cooperative Alliance.

NRTC serves our members and their members with telecommunications products and services that are generally difficult to gain access to in rural America.  These services include Internet access, competitive long distance rates, satellite television, and utility automation products and services.

As a member-owned cooperative, NRTC works hard to provide our members with the best services possible. And we follow the International Cooperative Alliance cooperative principles, such as member ownership and control. That makes our job more challenging than investor-owned businesses, but it has also earned us the trust of the people we serve.

As consumers become increasingly cynical about the constant ebb and flow of new and defunct e-businesses, it's critical that cooperative businesses have an opportunity to identify themselves to consumers and others who prefer to do business with us.  While many cooperatives use .com and .org, neither accurately characterizes co-ops to Internet users. Consumers need a way to find the businesses they trust on the Internet. The .co-op TLD will help do that.

Though NRTC provides telecom services to predominantly rural cooperatives and consumers, co-ops operate in virtually all industries, in 100 countries, and in both rural and urban areas; there are 750,000 cooperatives worldwide with 725 million members. As a result, the .co-op TLD will apply to a broad range of businesses across the globe.

I urge you to move quickly to approve .co-op.



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