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Username: Arnold Oliver
Date/Time: Fri, October 27, 2000 at 5:47 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.73 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: .co-op TLD support



Bartlett Electric Cooperative, Inc.
P O Box 200
Bartlett, TX 76511

Subject: Co-op as a TLD

On behalf of the 7800 members of Bartlett 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.
Bartlett Electric Cooperative (BEC) is an electric cooperative, serving 7800 accounts in Central Texas.  We are in the process of setting up a web site to offer additional services to our members such as on-line bill payments, billing inquiries, etc.  It would assist in our effort if we were able to distinguish our company as a cooperative, a not-for-profit, and one that is owned by its members from all the millions of others on-line.  This could be accomplished by the .co-op TLD.
As a rural, consumer-owned electric cooperative, BEC 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.

Arnold Oliver, General Manager    


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