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Username: mcremc
Date/Time: Mon, October 23, 2000 at 1:02 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: .co-op TLD


                  TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN     
      On behalf of the over 5000 members of Miami-Cass REMC, I am writing to urge the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (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.

Miami-Cass County Rural Electric Membership Corporation (REMC) has served the local community with reliable, quality electricity since 1939.  As Director of Communications, I feel we need to address our members and the public as a unique form of business namely, a not-for-profit cooperative, that operates under seven basic principles of cooperation between the employees and members of the corporation. We provide electricity, energy efficiency, and auditing services to residential, commercial, industrial, and school districts in North Central Indiana. We serve over 5000 consumers in Miami, Cass and part of Wabash County in Indiana. 

As a rural, consumer-owned electric cooperative, Miami-Cass REMC 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 my cooperative provides electric service to predominantly rural 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.

Mike Cunningham
Director of Communications
Miami-Cass REMC


Link: Miami-Cass REMC, Peru Indiana

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