Tuvalu - Infrastructure, power, and communications

The infrastructure of Tuvalu is rudimentary. Only the island of Funafuti has a network of paved roads (the government owns only 1 paving tractor to maintain the roadways). The other islands have either no or only limited paved roads. In fact, there are only 8 kilometers (5 miles) of paved roads in the entire nation. There are a few privately-owned vehicles and some government-owned ones. The most prevalent methods of transportation are bicycle and small motorcycle. The only airport is located on Funafuti. Government plans to build an airfield on each island have long been opposed for environmental and economic reasons. Estimates are that 3,000-4,000 palm trees would have to be cut down to make a serviceable landing strip. Since there is little arable land on any of the islands, such palm depletion would seriously undermine the local economies.

Inter-island shipping on small craft remains the main form of transport between the islands. The capital island and the island of Nui have navigable harbors in their lagoons,

Country a Telephones a Telephones, Mobile/Cellular Radio Stations a Radios a TV Stations a Televisions a Internet Service Providers c Internet Users c
Tuvalu 1,000 0 (1994) AM 1; FM 0; shortwave 0 4,000 0 800 1 N/A
United States 194 M 69.209 M (1998) AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18 575 M 1,500 219 M 7,800 148 M
Philippines 1.9 M 1.959 M (1998) AM 366; FM 290; shortwave 3 (1999) 11.5 M 31 3.7 M 33 500,000
Solomon Islands 8,000 658 AM 3; FM 0; shortwave 0 57,000 0 3,000 1 3,000
a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.
b Data is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.
c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].

but only Funafuti is capable of servicing deep-draft ships after a harbor dredging was completed in 1980.

There is a satellite dish in the capital and the government has put receivers on each of the islands so that transmissions are available to those with electricity and televisions. There is telephone service on Funafuti with about 700 subscribers in 1999 and radiophone communications exist between all of the inhabited islands. Electricity is available in the capital and in a limited fashion on some of the islands. While there are no broadcast stations, there is 1 Internet service provider and 1 local radio station. The government publishes the only newspaper, Tuvalu Echoes . Funafuti has a hospital, and each island has a dispensary (an office to dispense medical supplies). With the proceeds from the licensing of ".tv," the government expects to engage in several major infrastructure programs, although the main concern is the development of measures to protect the islands from flooding caused by storms.

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