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Username: homeworks
Date/Time: Mon, October 23, 2000 at 2:17 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: .coop TLD


On behalf of the 23,000 member-owners of HomeWorks Tri-County 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.

HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative not only serves 23,000 electric customers in rural mid-Michigan, we have also brought other much-needed and wanted services to our region, including satellite television programming, Internet access, a reliable source for heating, cooling, and electrical services, propane energy, and a charitable giving community foundation. For the past 14 years, I have served as the cooperative's director of communications, helping to educate our customers not only about our products and services, but also the seven cooperative principles and the importance of their participation as owners.

As a rural, consumer-owned electric cooperative, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative 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 truly characterizes co-ops to Internet users. Consumers need a way to find the businesses they trust on the Internet. The .co-op domain 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 domain will apply to a broad range of businesses around the world.

Please, move quickly to approve .co-op.

Cooperatively yours,

Jayne Graham, CCC
Director of Communications
HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative
7973 E. Grand River Avenue, PO Box 379
Portland, MI 48875


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