Image via WikipediaThe Pakistani ccTLD .pk domain is a critical Internet resource for Pakistan. Established in 1996 by two Pakistani entrepreneurs and scientists settled abroad in the US, the .pk infrastructure has grown to host an approximate of 36893 .pk domains as of 13-07-2011 for the 6th most populous country in the world.
I have occasionally shared in my research and presentations that for any country, its country code top level domain (ccTLD) represents its citizen's confidence and trust in their country's critical Internet resources, represents their participation in the information society and knowledge economy. It also determines the rate of online or Internet based innovation in all social, political and economic spheres of life for that region.
The State of the Pakistani .pk ccTLD:
.pk domains registered as of 13 July 2011: 36893 .pk domains
*** Irfan Ahmad's .pk domain registration analysis ***
Irfan Ahmad, a Pakistani Entrepreneur (profile) recently posted his statistics and analysis of the state of the Pakistani ccTLD on his blog here presenting very interesting facts and figures. According to Irfan, approximately 50% of the registered domains are .com.pk whereas 33% represent .pk registrations, 2103 are .org.pk, 1966 are .edu.pk and 1163 are .net.pk.He further distributes the Pakistani federal government and provincial government ccTLD usage as follows:
- Government of Pakistan has 766 .pk domains
- Government of Punjab has 121 .pk domains
- Government of Sindh has 68 .pk domains
- Government of Kashmir has 14 .pk domains
- Government of Baluchistan has 8 .pk domains
- Government of KPK has 5 .pk domains registered.
The .pk ccTLD has also issued .biz.pk, .web.pk and .fam.pk as follows:
- .biz.pk 196 domains
- .web.pk 121 domains
- .fam.pk 12 domains
.PK Yearly Growth Pattern
As far as the .pk domain registration growth pattern is concerned, Irfan maps out the yearly growth pattern through the following infographic that has shown a significant increase of domain registrations and interest from 2008 onward representing increased awareness and adoption among Pakistani Internet users, entrepreneurs that are both local and international companies doing business in Pakistan.
.PK Top 20 Pakistani Registrars
According to Irfan's analysis of the Top 20 Domain Registrars, Nexus Technologies, an Islamabad based company that has offices in almost all major cities stands as the leader registering around 2126 .pk domains. The closest competitor is Websouls and the public sector ISP COMSATS is third. Brain Telecom one of the oldest ISP players in the market also boasts a significant number of .pk registrations. Though ServerSea Hosting leads in the top level domain registration market in Pakistan, it sits very low in the chart given by Irfan.
Summarizing some occasional points I make during my work:
- Domain names managed by ICANN are divided into 2 major categories. First the gTLDs or “generic top-level domains” and secondly the ccTLDs or “country code top level domains” which represent a country level designation.
- Each country recognized by the United Nations has a country code top-level domain based on the ISO Standardized country code name that is a two letter character.
- A ccTLD provides regional credibility on the World Wide Web and or Internet for a country and its citizens.
- The ccTLD for Pakistan is .pk that was established in 1996.
- A ccTLD represents the nationality of an individual, group, community, society, organization, company and government.
- A ccTLD helps in identifying the source of communication and helps develop a trust relationship.
- A ccTLD website may or may not be physically located within the country represented by it.
- Every country carries its own specific guidelines for the use of its ccTLD.
- In some countries and regions like the Canada .ca domain or European Union .eu domains are only available for Canadian or EU based companies and individuals. For any Canadian individual or business, they must meet Canadian Presence Requirements here in order to register a .CA.
- Some countries like Colombia .co and Micronesia allow anyone from anywhere to register ccTLD domains
- ccTLDs help its registrants in avoiding obscure wording and misleading domain names
- ccTLD restrictions on who can buy a ccTLD helps registrations in securing reliable and user-friendly registry
- ccTLDs promote the distance from the global market helping registrants offer more personalized customer care
- ccTLD based regional/country identification as well as branding helps registrants to take advantage against being lost midst other saturated domain name extensions.
- ccTLD also helps in localizing the location on the web. It may be prudent that for certain forms of content, ccTLD domains help find the required local content on any given subject or entity.
- ccTLD's are managed as companies, public-private partnerships or by academic or research institutions.
- The value of a ccTLD can be linked directly to that country’s economic and investment environment. Its growth represents its participation in the local and global Knowledge Economy, the participation and trust of its citizens in its Information Society as well the quality and growth of Knowledge Workers in the region though that is not the scope of this discussion..
- Lower rates of ccTLD registration can also be linked to brain drain in certain cases though that is not the scope of this discussion.
- Most of the successful and high-growth ccTLD's are the ones managed through Public-Private Partnerships for example the Indian ccTLD .in is managed by the Public-Private Partnership called NIXI here that is amongst the fastest growing ccTLD in the world approaching nearly one million .in registrations..
- The .PK ccTLD is a privately held entity.
- ICANN: http://www.icann.org
- PKNIC Registry: http://www.pknic.net.pk
- Irfan Ahmed's PKNIC Domain Registration Statistics: http://i.com.pk/pknic-domain-registration-statistics