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Username: Choptank
Date/Time: Mon, October 23, 2000 at 2:06 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Macintosh
Score: 5
Subject: We need .co-op


      On behalf of the 40,000 members of Choptank Electric
Cooperative, 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.

Choptank Electric, established in 1938, serves 40,000 residential,
commercial and industrial members in the nine counties of the Eastern
Shore of Maryland.  In addition to supplying safe, reliable and
affordable electric power, we are also very involved in the
communities we serve. Choptank is very active in schools with safety
and career programs, awards scholarships annually and is involved in
the Rural Electric Youth Tour. Our web site is visited by many and
our members use it to enter meter readings and pay bills on-line.

As a rural, consumer-owned electric cooperative, Choptank Electric
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

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


Anne K. Whaples, manager-cooperative communications
Choptank Electric Cooperative
410-479-0420, ext. 3074 


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