September 20, 2007
A coral island in the South Pacific makes money via its domain name .TK.
The island of Tokelau is a small community of only 1500 people but is reaping the benefits of their foresight. Tokelau sold its domain name .TK to a Dutch entrepreneur who now offers a free domain name service in return for targeted ads. This deal has enabled Tokelau to add 10% to its GDP as well as gain PCs and net access for residents. Joost Zuurbier, the founder of Dot TK has a tough time convincing the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) while procuring the domain name. “It was a four year process. They didn’t believe the contract or even the island was real and it was only because a member of the board had been to Tokelau in 1978 that they finally agreed it was OK,” explained Mr Zuurbier. Currently there are more than 1.6 million Dot TK domain names registered and the number keeps growing by 10,000 each day.
Registering a .TK domain is free although users must agree to receive targeted banner and text advertising. The Dot TK Company gives an undisclosed amount to Tokelau from every .tk sales, thus adding 10% to its economy.