The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) chose seven new top-level domain names yesterday in an attempt to relieve the overcrowded .com and .net domains.

ICANN's board approved the names: .biz for businesses; .info for general use; .name for individuals; .pro for professionals; .museum for museums; .coop for business cooperatives, and .aero for the aviation industry.

Among the top-level domains ICANN rejected were names that would segregate Web content for children and adults, including .kids and .xxx. Other rejected contenders were .web and .tel. Parties interested in managing the domains had proposed 191 top-level domains.

ICANN president Mike Roberts said it could take some time before names can be registered within the new domains. He added: "An operation like this hasn't been done in a decade. The companies who control the top-level domains have more work to do than we have."

He couldn't provide a time for when the new top-level domains will be in use. He claimed: "You can't expect certainty. The companies have said it could take three to nine months. Some of them have to start from scratch. Some still have to write a business plan."

One of the winners in the battle to control a new top-level domain is Verisign, which also owns Network Solutions, one of the largest registrars for .com domains and previously the sole operator of .com, .net and .org names.