Jan 22, 2008

Those Wacky Internet Domain Codes

Okay, so we're all familiar with ".com" as an internet domain code. I'm sure you've seen ".net" and ".org" as well. And you may even be familiar with some country codes...like Germany's ".de" or the United Kindom's ".gb".

Recently, I've seen a couple of ".tv" domain codes, and I just assumed that the preferred ".com" addresses were already taken. Actually, ".tv" is quite popular, and happens to be the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Tuvalu.

Yes, Tuvalu! It's a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Samoa and Fiji. Comprising four reef islands and five true atolls, with a gross land area of just 26 square kilometers (10 sq mi), it is the second-least populated independent country in the world. It is the smallest member by population of the United Nations. In terms of physical land size Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, larger than only the Vatican City, Monaco and Nauru.

Any person in the world can register a .tv domain for a fee. The Tuvalu government receives a quarterly payment of US $1,000,000 for use of the top-level domain. The domain name is popular, and thus economically valuable (other similar ccTLDs are .fm, .am, .cd, and .dj). The domain is currently operated by dotTV, a VeriSign company. The Tuvalu government owns twenty percent of the company.

Here's some other ccTLDs you may or may not be familiar with:

.ac - Ascension Island
.aw - Aruba
.bf - Burkina Faso
.bj - Benin
.bv - Bouvet Island
.er - Eritrea
.fj - Fiji
.gg - Guernsey
.gp - Guadeloupe
.gw - Guinea-Bissau
.ht - Haiti
.im - Isle of Man
.iq - Iraq
.is - Iceland
.ki - Kiribati
.kg - Kyrgyzstan
.kz - Kazakhstan
.mm - Myanmar (Burma)
.no - Norway
.nu - Niue
.pn - Pitcairn Island
.re - Reunion Island
.sh - St Helena
.sr - Suriname
.tg - Togo
.ug - Uganda
.vu - Vanuatu
.ye - Yemen
.yt - Mayotte

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