In the 1980s Poptel offered on-line communications and information services to international NGOs, working in particular with the Interdoc group. Poptel was a partner in the Manchester Host and the Kirklees Host and became known as a provider of Internet services to the Labour Party. Working with the National Cooperative Business Association of the US, it launched the successful bid to create a top level Internet domain for use exclusively by cooperatives - ".coop".
Poptel was "demutualised" and broken up into smaller businesses in September 2002. Staff from the web development department formed a new co-operative, Poptech (later Fused Technologies). OSG Co-op (now Midcounties Co-operative) took over the .coop registry operation. The retail Internet Services business was merged with The Phone Co-op in 2003. In 2012 the .coop registry was transferred to the International Co-operative Alliance.
Poptel was a trading name for Soft Solution Ltd, a worker co-operative founded in 1983. Poptel's first on-line service, based on the GeoNet platform, was launched in March 1986. The Manchester Host was launched in 1991.
- Interdoc the first international NGO computer network
- .coop top level domain website
- Case study: Poptel by journalist Andrew Bibby, c.2001
- Poptel: how one workers' co-op was taken over by its investors by Andrew Bibby, first published in the Financial Times, 2003
- Where are they Now List Of Ex Poptel Members
- RIPA debate parliament 13 July 2000