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Username: MAC
Date/Time: Tue, October 24, 2000 at 5:02 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.7 using Macintosh PowerPC
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Subject: .co-op


Dear Sir or Madam,
On behalf of Texas Electric Cooperatives, the statewide association that represent the 79 electric co-ops of Texas, 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.

Speaking as Communications Director of this Association, I can attest to the fact that rural, consumer-owned electric cooperatives in Texas work 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.

In Texas electric co-ops serve 245 of Texas' 254 counties, in both rural and urban areas - an estimated 3 million customers in Texas alone.

Co-ops operate in virtually all industries, in 100 countries, also serving 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.

Margaret Ann Champion
Communications Director
Texas Electric Cooperatives



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