Continuing our discussion of PKNIC and the future of the .pk ccTLD, I was provided some interesting figures by a reader of this blog last week. Faried Nawaz says he has been grabbing a copy of PKNIC’s zone file everyday for the past ~ 6 years. On my request, he’s given a snapshot of the database for a random date (27th Jan, every year) all the way from 2001 till 2007. I’ve compiled the figures in a tabular format to highlight the growth of the various domains (hopefully reflecting the associated sector to some extent) and the entire .pk sphere. Here it is:


First impressions: To be honest, the size of the registry sort of disappointed me by at least 100%. I had always assumed there would have been at least 50,000 total domains registered under .pk. Like elsewhere on the Internet, the .com counterpart at .pk ( is leading the herd with six digit registrations in 2007. Runner up, in 2006 and 2007, is the domain which PKNIC started in 2006.

There is also a marked growth in the overall numbers in 2006 and 2007, the years that have seen strong growth in cellular and voice services. It is plausible that there is a co-relation between increased cellular voice usage in the country and the Internet-based (or Internet aligned) businesses in the local market.

PKNIC charges Rs 2,000 per domain per annum for two years for all domains except the domains which are available at Rs 1,000 per domain per year for Pakistani customers. Government domains are not charged any fee provided they are able to demonstrate a government agency backing the registration of the domain.

A quick back of the hand calculation will give anyone an idea of the revenues that PKNIC can expect out of these numbers. Leaving that as an exercise to those interested in the dollar figure and focusing back on my initial disappointment at the smallness of the total domains figure, I would request PKNIC to reduce the domain name registration cost further, provider a local face to the single-most important Internet company of the nation, and open up more channels for easier uptake of the .pk domain name by the local businesses.

I am very confident that these ~19,000 domains do not reflect the activity of Pakistan and its business outfits truly. There has to be a tremendous amount of local businesses that have turned to the .com and .net gTLDs just because they were cheaper, or more easily available, or had reseller agents roaming in the street doing the stuff for them without much hassle. Let us work towards increasing the size of the pie and everyone should benefit from it. Just like MADE IN PAKISTAN is (supposed to be) a matter of pride for all of us, let .pk be our badge of honor in the Internet.


14 Responses to “PKNIC Stats”

  1. Sajjad Says:

    I was one of those people that had a list of domains I wanted to register when the .PK ones were made available to the public in June last year. It was quite a disappointment to find out that most of them were already taken and mostly by people outside Pakistan.

    At that time, I had a number of ideas for services specific to the Pakistani market. However, the market is too immature to be profitable at this stage.

    All I managed to start was a Pakistani blogging service which hasn’t yet seen the type of interest I was expecting. It’ll probably require someone like Yahoo or Google to come in and kick start things.

  2. Faried Nawaz Says:

    It’s Rs 1,000/year for all domains.

  3. Faried Nawaz Says:

    (Except the government/etc registered ones, that is.)

  4. Chand Says:

    I don’t understand why in God’s name don’t they just force the price reduction of the .pk domain to that of the .com domains? ($6.95 a year or Rs 420/-). In fact, given our purchasing power, it should be lowered to less than that.

    What’s all the stupid fuss about. Lower the frigging price.

  5. Teeth Maestro Says:

    So if we calculate the total revenue earned at Rs 1000/domain excluding the gov domains which are free we have a total of Rs 1,80,94,000 per year which turns out to be about $25,000 a month – thats without doubt a juicy proposition no wonder the Government wants a piece of the cake.

    Tee Emm thank you for the statistics – I too feel the registered domains were far lesser then my own expectations. At least this data brings things into better perspective

  6. Google Country Consultant Says:

    #’s far below my personal expectations too 😦

    Some of the reasons top of my head are :

    – A 2-yr upfront advance payment which encourages startups to migrate to .com TLD

    – Pro-rate price/yr of Rs. 1,000 is also not competitive

    – Users are again discouraged when they see no online payment options, no DNS hosting, etc. which is available in case of all other TLD’s

    – Nobody is actually promoting .pk domains. Users are reaching out for it themselves for identity purposes

    – No auction system for high-paying rich-keyword-oriented domain names

    – And many many more!

  7. Uzair Says:

    I found pknic is just like doing work manually for automatic things (Internet/Web). I just wonder what they are doing for the money they grab for .pk domains fee (Only buying luxuries for their-selves). Fortunately I found (FMEOS.Pk) for .com/.net/.org domains registering cheaply and they register instantly, so I go for .com, and later they start .pk registration so I register .pk domain with them but its quite costly as compared to .com domains. They offer .com/.net/.org just for Rs. 495 and .pk domains Rs. 1000 (at pknic rate). So when I can get .com cheap domain registration here in Pakistan as compared to .pk domains and income level of average Pakistani ask buy cheap so I go for .com. We can only hope PKNIC drop rates in future.

  8. Khalil Ahmad Says:

    As of today, December 27, 2007 the PKNIC name servers are listed 52,928 domains on it.

  9. Faried Nawaz Says:

    As of today January 6, 2008, their zone file lists 22,583 domains.

  10. Aleem Says:

    What peeves me is that now you have both and .pk domains.

    If you intend to have your business up and running on you are compelled to register both and the .pk equivalent so you can capture all traffic intended for your company. Internet users are confused enough as it is and now have to start differentiating between .com, and .pk domains.

    If you are like most your existing domain could very well be facing competition from someone who registered the .pk equivalent to ride on your coat tails.

    To your earlier questions and concerns about taking ownership of the .pk TLD, I don’t see why a consortium comprising local ISPs and software houses cannot assume ownership while providing a good check and balance.

  11. asim Says:

    Not all GOV .PKdomains are free. Only the higher ministries are entitled to have a free GOV domain, other local and provincial ministries like Finance Dept, or District governments have to pay the regular fee for the GOV.PK domains.

  12. Rohit Says:

    Dont you think this stats are too low ?
    i was thinking numbers in lacs when i saw the title of this post.

  13. Rahim Says:

    PKNIC have no online payment system, like paypal for domain registration. Its quite hard to register domain with them so people need to find other companies for their pk domain registrations. I must thank to the person who mentioned me FMEOS.PK for domain registration, their prices are little higher than to PKNIC but they provide excellent customer service. So I too recommend FMEOS.PK for .PK domain registration.
    And as for .pk domain registration statistics concern I think they are in lacs now, however PKNIC can tell the exact number.

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