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Username: dmaxwell
Date/Time: Mon, October 23, 2000 at 9:29 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.05 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: yes to .co-op


        On behalf of the 9,600 members of Vernon 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.

Vernon Electric Co-op has served electricity to rural members of south-western Wisconsin for over 60 years.  We pride ourselves on service.  Since we are not-for-profit there is no risk to our members that we are lining the pockets of investors.  Our members are our investors.  The people who use our product are the only beneficiaries.
Our primary service is the delivery of electricity, but we also are diversifying into value-added services such as power quality and rural water quality products.  Wherever we see a need for a service that is not provided, or too expensive, to our members, we will try to fulfill that need.

As a rural, consumer-owned electric cooperative, Vernon Electric Co-op 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.

Dave Maxwell
Dir., Marketing and Communications
Vernon Electric Cooperative
Westby, WI     


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