International Internet victory gives Pitcairn Island its domain name suffix
ANGWIN (Napa County) Calif., June 29, 2000You'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
"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.
Pitcairn Islands Study Center, 1 Angwin
Ave., Angwin, CA, USA. Herbert Ford, 707-965-6625, 707-965-2047, Fax: 707-965-6504,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: http://library.puc.edu/pitcairn