Tuvalu News


By Michael Field

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (February 3, 1999 - Agence France-Presse)---A Canadian company which promised extravagant riches for Tuvalu, one of the world's smallest states, has postponed the dream.

Tuvalu's fortune was to have come from marketing its ".TV" Internet suffix through a Toronto company, Information.ca.Corp., which set up The .TV Corporation.

Prime Minister Bikenibeu Paeniu said last August that the Polynesian nation north of Fiji, would make between 60 million and 100 million U.S. dollars a year, making its 9,000 inhabitants among the world's richest people.

But Tuvalu Communications Minister Otinielu Tausi admitted last month that the first payment, an expected 50 million U.S. dollar Christmas present from the Canadian company had not been received.

Now, an undated notice appearing on The .TV Corporation web page says the launch of .TV domain had been delayed.

Corporation Jason Chapnik launched the name with a great flurry last October.

"Registrations are pouring in from around the world, because world-wide it makes sense to people what Dot TV means," he told Radio New Zealand a week after the launch.

Tausi said last month just 200 companies had registered and paid, giving a total revenue of 200,000 dollars.

The new notice thanks people who have participated.

"In our efforts to make the .TV domain as far and equitable as possible, The .TV Corporation has delayed the launch of the .TV domain until the second quarter of 1999," the company's web page notice says.

"Foremost among our concerns is the incorporation of trademark and intellectual property protections into the .TV domain name registration process."

The web site says they are still accepting registrations.

Tausi said in December that although the first payment had not been made, following re-negotiating Tuvalu was confident it was "still looking at millions."

He believed the scheme would end their need for aid and would allow the government to dramatically improve education spending.

Michael J Field, Agence France-Presse, Auckland, New Zealand
Tel: (64 21) 688-438; Fax: (64 21) 694-035; E-Mail: afp.nz@clear.net.nz
WWW: http://www.afp.com/english/

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