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South Pacific 'TV' nation finds paradise on the Internet

April 18, 2000
Web posted at: 10:54 a.m. EDT (1454 GMT)

(CNN) -- The tiny South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu has become all the rage in the high-tech world because of its top level Internet domain name, which is ".tv".

DotTV, an Internet startup in the United States, has agreed to pay the government of Tuvalu $50 million over the next ten years for use of the country code, not bad for a developing nation with a population of just 10,600.

"We consider this beachfront property on the Internet. And you don't have to go and advertise to people that the beach is beautiful," Lou Kerner of DotTV said.

"People already know instinctively and they just go there and say, 'Wow, this is great.' And people are having the same kind of response to DotTV."

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The company says people are bidding for DotTV domain names on their Web sites for as much as $1 million a year.

Each country is given a top level domain name, like ".uk" for the United Kingdom, ".fr" for France and ".il" for Israel.e may offer a creative way to cash in and become part of the digital age.

"Before we were struggling, but here with this income coming from DotTV, that will enable the government and the people of Tuvalu dream of a better life," said Koloa Talaka, a member of the Tuvalu parliament.

David Post of Temple University Law School says that nations now embrace the Internet in a whole new way.

"The governments of the world have had an uneasy relationship with this Internet thing. And I think it took many of them a long time to realize the real-estate under their control and management could in fact be very valuable," he said.

But critics say that may all change in the future if top-level domain names are eventually dropped, similar to how people increasingly omit "www" when they look up company Internet addresses.



RELATED STORIES:
EC airs concerns over U.S. dominance of the Net
April 12, 2000
Hong Kong's domain name game
April 11, 2000
Internet community to debate new domains
March 7, 2000
Study finds ICANN vote plan full of problems
March 6, 2000
ICANN sees healthy response to open membership
March 2, 2000

RELATED SITES:
d o t T V
Tuvalu Online


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