The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) is to choose a new registrar for the .net domain next spring.
Icann finalised details of the move at its recent Cape Town conference. The existing .net registry agreement was signed in May 2001, and will expire on 30 June 2005.
VeriSign is the current registrar of the .net domain on behalf of Icann, and Icann confirmed that VeriSign would be able to bid again for the new contract.
An Icann spokesman said, "Completed .net proposals will be due in January 2005. Proposals will be evaluated by an independent third-party, and the successful proposal will be revealed in March 2005."