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Username: alester
Date/Time: Thu, October 26, 2000 at 7:57 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: .Co-op Support


                On behalf of the Virginia, Maryland, Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives ("VMDAEC"), 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. 

As a rural, consumer-owned electric cooperative, the members of the VMDAEC work hard to provide our members with the best services possible. And we follow the 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.

Anita G.Lester
Government Affairs Coodinator
Va., Md., De Assoc. of Electric Cooperatives


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