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Username: Jane Barnette
Date/Time: Fri, October 27, 2000 at 4:09 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Yes to .co-op


On behalf of the 14,000 members of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative, Inc, I am sending this message to urge the ICANN to approve the proposal for a .co-op top-level domain.  The National Cooperative Business Association and Poptel are proposing .co-op with the full endorsement of the International Cooperative Alliance.

I am the Manager of Finance and Administration at GCEC.  I also am the Co-Administrator of our LAN and WAN.  GCEC provides distribution of electricity and water to our members.  We also sell  grills, surge protectors and satellite programming services to our members.  We plan to make our web page a very community oriented web page.  We are probably the largest business in both Southport and Wewahitchka.  The majority of the people in our community refer to Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative, as the "co-op".

As a rural, consumer-owned cooperative, GCEC works hard to provide our members with the best services possible.  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.

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 area; 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.


Jane Barnette
Manager of Finance & Administration
Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative


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