Tuesday, August 11, 1998 Published at 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Tiny Tuvalu is .tv centre
Tiny isles' trendy tags
By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall
The Polynesian microstate of Tuvalu with only 9,000 people believes it has struck gold with a deal to exploit its name on the Internet.
Prime Minister Bikenibeu Paeinu said that a deal agreed with a Canadian company, Information.ca Corp, would bring in annual revenues of between $60m and $100m.
The deal could make Tuvalu's people among the world's wealthiest on a per capita basis.
The marketing company will push Tuvalu's unique country suffix of .tv as the perfect Internet address for the world's television companies.
Tuvalu's current annual budget is less than $4m and its people, spread across nine tiny atolls, rely mainly on fishing.
Sex sullies Net paradises
Its only other high-tech encounter, the licensing of its international telephone access code to a foreign buyer, brings in a million dollars a year.
But the government is embarrassed that the number is used to relay sex chat calls.
Tuvalu is one of a number of small states capitalising on a shortage of desirable Internet addresses: