Tonga sells domain names to the world


From a computer in its San Francisco consulate, the tiny island nation of Tonga is selling Internet domain names to anyone with a yen for an Internet address. Domain names are the words after the "www" that guide Internet traffic to a destination. Most Websites have names like "".

Those last three letters, "com," are a bone of contention on the Internet. Last week the Clinton Administration proposed its solution to the domain name shortage. It suggested the addition of five new domain endings and the creation of a nonprofit group to dole them out. But Tonga has created its own Website ( to exploit a loophole in Internet address rules. Tonga, whose code is "to," has simply decided to go commercial and sell them to anyone in the world.