PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (August 11, 1998 - PACNEWS/Radio Australia)---A Canadian company has won the right to lease Tuvalu's Internet domain name -- .tv-- and is hoping to market it to television networks around the globe.
The company, Information.ca Touch Corporation, will pay $US 50 million to the Tuvalu government for authority to administer the name.
Prime Minister Bikenibeu Paeniu said Tuvalu also will receive 65 percent of the profits from all sales.
The licensing agreement was signed in Funafuti Monday between officials of the Tuvalu government and representatives of the Canadian corporation.
Based on income estimates, the pact will provide an annual income of up to US$ 11,000 to every Tuvaluan, most of whom now have a subsistence lifestyle with cash income of only a few hundred dollars annually.
The Polynesian country's population was estimated at 10,297 in 1997.
The Tuvalu government currently operates on an annual budget of less than US$ 4 million, with funding derived from fishing, earnings from seamen working on foreign ships, foreign aid and interest from a national investment fund.
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