Tuvalu joins UN with domain-name cash

Revenue from sales of Internet addresses in the .tv top-level domain enabled the tiny South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu to join the United Nations this week.

          Revenue from sales of Internet addresses in the .tv top-level domain enabled the tiny South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu to join the United Nations this week.

          Previously unable to join the UN because it could not afford the membership fee, this nation of subsistence farmers and fishermen licensed its country-code top level domain name in April to Californian company DotTV for $US4 million a year for the next ten years. Tuvalu's population of around 11,000 may well offer themselves a drink on the proceeds: most of the country's drinking water is provided by a single aging desalination plant, and what little fresh groundwater resources the low-lying country does have are threatened by rising sea levels; the highest point in Tuvalu is just 5 meters above sea level.

          For its part, dotTV appears to be doing well out of the deal, last month posting news of three $100,000-deals for sales of Internet addresses ending in .tv.

          Niue, another South Pacific island nation with a sought-after domain name (.nu, which means now in Swedish and naked in French), handed over control of its domain name in November 1997 to Internet Users Society - Niue, a US corporation, and to the Savage Island Network in Niue. Niue, with a population of 2,100 and falling, has yet to join the UN.

          dotTV, in Pasadena, California, can be found on the Web at http://www.tv/.

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