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Username: mclaury
Date/Time: Mon, October 23, 2000 at 12:59 AM GMT (Mon, October 23, 2000 at 8:59 AM EDT)
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Score: 5
Subject: .co-op


     As an employee of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, i am writing to urge the Internet Corporation fro Assigned Names and Numbers to approve the proposal for a ".co-op" top-level domain.  The National Cooperataive Business Association and Poptel are proposiing .co-op with the full endoresement of the International Cooperative Alliance.

The National Rural Utilities Cooperataive Finance Corporation provides a host of financing products and services to its member electric and telephone cooperatives.  Memebers include approximately 1000 rural electric cooperatives in 49 states.  As the Director of Rural Business and Community Development, I assist cooperatives to use thier resources to enhance community and economic development in their serevice territories and to improve the quality of life for rural residents.

As consumers increasingly reach out to the internet for products and services, it is critical that cooperative businesses have an opportunity to identify themselves to consumers and others who prefer to do business with these consumer-owned businesses.  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.

Although my cooperative provides services to the electric and telecommunications industries, co-ops operative in virtually all industries, in 100 countries, and in both rural and urban areas; there are 750,000 cooperatives world wide with 725 million members.  As a result, the .co-op TLD will apply to a broad range of businesses around the globe.

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

Bob McLaury


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