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Juno Lands Defunct Freewwweb Deal

Juno Online Services Inc. Thursday received court approval for a subscriber referral agreement with bankrupt Freewwweb LLC.

Freewwweb will refer its subscribers to Juno's free Internet access service.

Freewwweb will receive an undisclosed amount of Juno stock for each converted client, as well as a little cash for attaining certain transfer specification.

According to Freewwweb the free Internet service had amassed more than 700,000 active subscribers as of June.

In addition to the potential 260,000 free access users Juno could pick up from a similar deal with the equally defunct WorldSpy free Internet service, Juno has the potential to land just less than 1 million new users over the next few months.

Charles Ardai, Juno president and chief executive officer said it was please to have reached an arrangement with Freewwweb to bring its subscribers into the Juno fold.

"This deal has the potential to significantly expand Juno's subscriber base, even if fewer than half of Freewwweb's subscribers switch to using Juno," Ardai said.

Freewwweb subscribers who convert to Juno will be able to continue receiving e-mail sent to their Freewwweb e-mail address and will continue to receive free Web access. Additionally, new users will have the option of upgrading to one of Juno's billable premium services, including its high-speed broadband service.

While two free Internet services providers have folded in the past 30-days, Juno has been first in line to extends its brand of free access.

Juno's Ardai, Juno's said the deals work to strengthen its position in both the free access and fee-based market segments.

According to industry analysts, fee-based ISP acquisitions typically attain a client transfer of about 70 percent. No data is available on free subscriber transfer rates at this time.

Juno said it does not plan to pick up the digital line subcriber base of freeXDSL, another Smart World Technologies LLC subsidiary.

Juno's product mix offer users free dial-up access as an enticing lure to new users. The firm has no intention of offering free DSL services. To do so would take away it ability to upsell clients to its Juno Express high-speed service offers and erode its profit mix.

Smart World has not responded to inquiries about what will happen to its substantial database of potential free DSL users. Its silence on the issue has left potential subscribers out in the cold, wondering if free high-speed service is still an option for accessing the Internet.

Meanwhile, the freeXDSL site remains live on the Web, luring unwitting potential subscribers into signing up for a service that does not exist.