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News Release

International Internet victory gives Pitcairn Island its domain name suffix

ANGWIN (Napa County) Calif., June 29, 2000—You've heard of "dot com," now meet "dot pn." According to information reaching the Pitcairn Islands Study Center on the campus of Pacific Union College here, Pitcairn Island's administrators have won an international struggle to gain control of its .pn Internet domain name suffix, and the tiny and famous island is now selling use of it to Internet users around the world.

One of 250 countries with Internet assigned domain names, Pitcairn is, in addition to selling its ".pn" second level domain name, also marketing the third level domain names of "co.pn," "org.pn," "net.pn" and "edu.pn."

Internet users can obtain information on acquiring the domain names at http://www.government.pn/PnRegistry/PnRegistry.htm, or through the government web site at http://www.government.pn.

Since 1997 the .pn suffix had been in the hands of other than Pitcairn islanders. But through a protracted struggle that ended at the beginning of 2000, and involved the U.S. government and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a judgment finally awarded the .pn suffix permanently to Pitcairn Island.

Though Internet users world-wide can now acquire a .pn suffix, that does not mean the 50 or so inhabitants of Pitcairn Island can immediately begin using the Internet.

Before that happens, a reasonable-cost satellite data link into Pitcairn will have to be established. The cost will probably exceed a quarter million U.S. dollars. And once the link is established, the use costs will have to be much lower than the present data link into the island, which costs about four U.S. dollars per minute and is very slow.

"There are many obstacles to overcome, but the advantages of Internet availability to Pitcairn are very great," said Pitcairn Commissioner Leon Salt, from the island's administrative office in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Internet will allow the Pitcairners to engage in several kinds of "e-commerce" including sale of their much-sought-after carved and woven curios, dehydrated fruits, and recently inaugurated pure honey industry. Numerous other commercial ventures could follow.

According to Commissioner Salt, fees from those who purchase a Pitcairn Internet suffix will start the fund to ultimately bring the Internet to the island.

"With a good, high-speed data link that carries the Internet into Pitcairn, the remoteness of the island will be much less a barrier to Pitcairn's progress, but it will still not remove the problems caused by its physical isolation," said Mr. Salt.

More than half of those on tiny, one-mile-wide-by-two-miles-long Pitcairn are descendants of sailors who in 1789 mutinied against Captain William Bligh, an event that became famous world-wide as "the mutiny on the Bounty." Several motion pictures have been made and scores of books written about the event. Pitcairn is located about midway between Panama and New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean.

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Pitcairn Islands Study Center, 1 Angwin Ave., Angwin, CA, USA. Herbert Ford, 707-965-6625, 707-965-2047, Fax: 707-965-6504, Email: hford@puc.edu, Website: http://library.puc.edu/pitcairn


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