All about this tiny Commonwealth country ~ and the home of .tv


   Tuvalu is a Polynesian island nation, formerly known as the Ellice Islands. 
Located in the Pacific Ocean
, midway between Hawaii and Australia. It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls. Its population of 10,472 makes it the third-least populated sovereign state in the world, with only Vatican City and Nauru having fewer inhabitants. In terms of physical size, at just 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world. Naumaga, Niutao, Niulakita are reef islands and the six true atolls are Funafuti, Nanumea, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae and Vaitupu. Funafuti is the largest atoll of the nine islands that form the Tuvalu volcanic chain.

The islets that form the atolls are very low lying: the highest elevation is just 4.5 metres (15 ft) above sea level, which gives Tuvalu the second-lowest maximum elevation of any country (after the Maldives). Because of this, the islands that make up this nation may be threatened by any future sea level rise. Under such circumstances, the population may evacuate to New Zealand, Niue or the Fijian island of Kioa. Tuvalu is affected by what is known as a king tide, which can raise the sea level much higher than normal. In the future, this may threaten to submerge the nation entirely, as it is estimated that a sea level rise of 20–40 centimetres (8–16 inches) in the next 100 years could make Tuvalu uninhabitable. The land is very poor here and the soil is hardly usable for agriculture. Drinking water is mostly obtained from rainwater collected on roofs and stored in tanks. The Islands are subject to westerly gales and heavy rain from November to March, and the tropical temperature is moderated by easterly winds from March to November.


The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesians. In 1568 Spanish navigator Alvaro Mendaña discovered the islands during his expedition in the quest to find "Terra Australis". The name Ellice was applied to all nine islands after the work of British hydrographer Alexander George Findlay (1812–1876). The Ellice Islands were administered by Britain as part of a protectorate from 1892 to 1916 and as part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony from 1916 to 1974. In 1974, the Ellice Islanders voted for separate British dependency status as Tuvalu, separating from the Gilbert Islands which became Kiribati upon independence. Tuvalu became fully independent within the Commonwealth on October 1st 1978. On September 5th 2000, Tuvalu became the 189th member of the United Nations. Because the country is so remote, tourism does not provide much income, just a thousand tourists are estimated to visit Tuvalu annually. The main island of Funafuti is the focus for travellers, because of its International Airport, and the only hotel accommodation.

Tuvalu has almost no natural resources, and its main income is largely foreign aid. Almost all of the jobs on the islands that pay a steady wage are with the government. Subsistence farming and fishing remain the primary economic activities, particularly off the capital island of Funafuti. Government revenue comes largely from the sale of stamps and coins, fishing licences and worker remittances. Substantial income is received annually from the Tuvalu Trust Fund, which was established in 1987 by Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom and supported also by Japan and South Korea. The US government is also a major revenue source for Tuvalu, with payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries. 

In 1998, Tuvalu began deriving a novel form of revenue from the use of its country code for "900" phone lines and from the sale of its ".tv" Internet domain name.

Tuvalu and the Web
The .tv domain is currently operated by dotTV, a VeriSign company. The Tuvalu government owns twenty percent of the company. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over a 12-year period, so the Tuvalu government receives a quarterly payment of around $1 million for use of this top-level domain. Countless websites the world over (including our own!) have now joined the .tv fraternity.

(Source ~ Wikepedia)

  Tuvalu Tourism site ~ notice it's not a .tv!

http://www.janeresture.com/tuvalu2/tuvalu_home_page.htm  Jane's website (She's a local Radio DJ)