Tuvalu is a tiny Polynesian island nation occupying just 26 square kilometres and is located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. Hitting the headline in more recent times in regard to climate change; the country's previous media spotlight was in relation to domain names.
With a population of under 13,000 and relying heavily on foreign aid, Tuvalu's biggest export and one of its largest sources of income is its Internet domain name extension; .tv.
In 2000, Tuvalu entered into a contract with Verisign to lease ".tv" for USD$50 million over a 12-year period. Verisign also created a company called dotTV to operate the extension and the Tuvalu government owns twenty percent of the company.
A recent Radio Australia report states that revenue from the .tv domain makes up almost ten percent of the Tuvalu government's total revenue and the original down-payment for the extension helped fund the paving the nation's roads, plus other key infrastructure.
According to a report on 3News, Tuvalu's government is no longer happy with the arrangements, calling the deal quot;exploitation". Finance minister Loto Metia claims the royalties from the domain name have halved and Tuvalu's previous government did not negotiate the deal well.
The .tv extension has proved popular for movie and video related web sites.
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