.coop is an email and web address top-level domain (TLD), which forms the end of a web address just like other TLDs such as .com and .org. Unlike these extensions, which can be used by any organization or person, .coop is exclusively available to bona fide cooperatives.
The .coop domain is used by thousands of cooperatives all over the world, making it the global identity for the world cooperative movement. It helps co-operative organizations enhance and market their businesses, better connect with their members and network with other cooperatives across the world.
How it all started
The .coop story started on 16th November 2000, when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), supported by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), approved the creation of the .coop TLD.
This was an amazing accomplishment given that only 7 names were approved, out of over 100 name applications from all over the world. A big step for the cooperative movement, as cooperatives received the enormous opportunity to mark themselves out from other businesses online.
On 30th January 2002, the infrastructure for the domain was launched by Poptel, a small London-based cooperative. They were joined by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), who became the sponsor of .coop. The Midcounties Cooperative Domains Ltd (MCD), a wholly owned subsidiary of Midcounties Cooperative Ltd, became responsible for the operation and maintenance of .coop's technical environment. Together they formed the registry, DotCooperation LLC (also known as dotCoop).