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Username: mikeb
Date/Time: Mon, October 23, 2000 at 1:03 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: coop suffix (TLD) name


        On behalf of the 20,300 members of Powder River Energy Corporation in northeastern Wyoming, I am writing to urge the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to approve the proposal for a .coop top-level domain.  The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) and Poptel are proposing .coop with the full endorsement of the International Cooperative Alliance.

Our cooperative distributes electricity in 10,600 square miles of northeastern Wyoming.  As a rural, consumer-owned electric cooperative, Powder River Energy 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 .coop 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 .coop TLD will apply to a broad range of businesses across the globe.

I urge you to move quickly to approve .coop as a TLD name.  I also urge you NOT to use a dash in co-op as this would make it more cumbersome in verbally telling people the address.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this.


Mike Blenkush
Manager of External Affairs


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