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Internet

.xxx may mark new Net address

New.net, an Internet start-up trying to speed up the domain-name registration process, inks a deal to allow Web addresses ending in unconventional suffixes.

New.net, an Internet start-up that is trying to speed up the domain-name registration process, got a step closer to achieving its goal Monday.

The company said it has inked a deal with Juno Online Services to allow subscribers to register Web addresses ending in unconventional suffixes, such as .game and .free.

The agreement calls for Juno to provide Net domain names to its subscribers using New.net's software. Juno said it has just over 14 million registered members as of Dec. 31, 2000.

The company, based in Pasadena, Calif, was started last year by investor Bill Gross and his now-troubled Net incubator Idealab.

Earlier this month, New.net cut deals with several service providers and software makers, including EarthLink, Excite@Home and NetZero.

The company has created software that allows Internet users to access unconventional Web addresses. The software can be run by an Internet service provider or on people's personal computers, providing access to such domain name extensions as .xxx, .chat and .video.

New.net's push into domain registration is shaping up to be one of the most serious challenges to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization given the authority by the U.S. Department of Commerce to control Internet addresses. There are already other companies that offer similar unconventional Web addresses, but have garnered the same momentum as New.net.

ICANN itself last month pushed some new domain names a step closer to reality, including .name, .pro, .biz and .info. ICANN was created three years ago with a mandate from the U.S. government to oversee the Internet's address system. The organization has faced criticism since its inception with accusations that its process of developing new domains is arbitrary and unfair.