ICANN picks seven new top-level domain names

ICANN's board, meeting in California, approved .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. ICANN is the organisation that governs the Internet domain-name system.

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

In a telephone interview, ICANN President Mike Roberts said it could take some time before names can be registered within the new domains. "An operation like this hasn't been done in a decade," Roberts said, adding that ICANN wouldn't delay implementation, which is in the hands of the companies that will control the new domains.

"They [the companies] have more work to do than we have," Roberts said.

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

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