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~ seven new suffixes available from summer 2001 ~

London - November 17, 2000 - NetNames, the UK’s leading domain name registrar and the only UK registrar within Afilias, the consortium bidding for new unrestricted top level domains (TLDs), has been awarded the .info suffix. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced yesterday that seven new TLDs would be made available from next year.

The .info suffix is the only new TLD whose use will be unrestricted, enabling any individual or organisation to register their domain name with this TLD.

The restricted strings which were announced by ICANN will require potential registrants to prove their status before applying for domain names. The new restricted strings include .biz for businesses, .name for individuals, .pro for professionals (e.g. the accountancy and legal professions), .museum, .aero for the aeronautical industry and .co-op for non-profit making organisations.

.info will support all 130-plus character sets from the outset, further encouraging use of the Internet in countries where English isn’t widely spoken.

"This is a defining moment for the Internet," said Tom Barrett, CEO of NetNames. "Dot-info will be the world’s first pure generic top level domain as dot-com has always been considered US centric. We anticipate a great deal of interest from around the world when it goes live."

"Memorable short names with the .com suffix have been in short supply for a long time. The unrestricted dot-info TLD will help accelerate the growth of the Internet by eliminating this scarcity and improving navigation of the Internet," he continued.

Registrations for the new top level domains are likely to commence in the second or their quarter of 2001. For further information, please visit the web site at http://www.netnames.co.uk


or call 020 7549 5342.



NOTES TO EDITORS

About NetNames

NetNames, part of the NetBenefit group (LSE:NBT), is one of the world’s leading domain name registrars whose principal activities are the provision of immediate, reliable, and responsive services for companies and individuals who need to register, protect and manage domain names anywhere in the world.

Technical Note

The NetNames technical architecture is a highly scalable, fault-tolerant,
state-of-the-art platform consisting of hardware from Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: SUNW) and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO). Our software technologies include Java and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) on Weblogic application servers. The API is e-mail based, designed for rapid implementation into production.

Contact Details:

NetNames Europe

Colette Douglass

Tel: +44 (0)20 7549 5342

Email: colette.douglass@netnames.com

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