Do you want a free domain name? If so the island of Tokelau has been reaping the rewards thanks to a novel way of offering free .TK domain names.
Situated two days travel from its nearest neighbour, Tokelau is a non-self governing colonial territory of New Zealand that consists of three coral atolls in the south pacific. It only has 1,500 inhabitants and has one of the smallest economies in the world, but thanks to a Dutch entrepreneur the gross domestic product of the island has increased by 10%.
The entrepreneur who invested in the country level domain .TK, now provides free domain names to customers in return for serving targeted ads. Over four years the overseer of the internet addressing system ICANN was eventually convinced that Tokelau had a valid case for the domain.
After opening up the domain the country now has over 1.6 million registered .TK addresses, and the company responsible donates an undisclosed percentage to the tiny island enabling its economy to benefit greatly. As well as financial gains the residents have also benefited from new PCs and internet access that would otherwise have been unthinkable.
The changes have enabled the island to rely more on VOIP communications to the outside world rather than expensive satellite telephony and radios. These broadband connections have also lead to improvements to the islands medical profession, helped students who don’t wish to study abroad and enhanced the island’s tourist profile. It seems the spoils of the scheme are having a wide ranging impact on everyday life on Tokelau, and improving the quality of everyday life for one of the world’s poorest countries.