Google Zeitgeist Ignores Pakistan?

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Update: This has now been fixed. A bunch of thanks to Omar Ansari and Badar Khushnood for doing their bits.

Google remains the barometer for measuring what people are doing on the Internet en mass. Google’s Zeitgeist country-level breakdown page provides a useful (and often funny) view of what are Internet users doing in a given country as a whole.

Somehow, Pakistan has been removed from this page. The entry for Pakistan used to reside at:

http://www.google.com/press/intl-zeitgeist.html#pk

but is not available now. This might be a short hiccup due to some unavailable data or a permanent removal. The later, obviously, is disturbing for us in Pakistan. Heck, even Afghanistan is being considered to be included in the list.

Let us wait for some time and hope we get our trends back at the page.

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PTA gears up for IX and Peering Initiative

It comes as a stress reliever to read that PTA is finally inching towards pushing the local Internet industry towards a saner state where local traffic gets cleared locally without wasting the countries foreign exchange and without costings the end users hundreds of useless milliseconds of RTT delays.

PTA has issued an RFP that seeks consultation services on the topic of local Internet exchanges and peering points. I am not sure what direct role can PTA play in private peering as it is mostly a two-party arrangement for their own respective good with little intervention required by any third party. However, the IX domain will greatly benefit from PTA exerting its role and responsibility in bringing major players on-board.

Also, the move is going to have a direct financial impact on the top-of-the-chain IP bandwidth providers like PTCL and TW who currently do not discriminate between local and transit bandwidth and make money for both types of the bandwidths alike. With IX infrastructures in place, customer IP requirements for local needs will drop down in the short term but, as a rule, IX infrastructure will promote the overall appetite of the industry for more transit bandwidth as a whole.

Let’s hope for the best.

Pakistan’s Persistent ccTLD Pains

The painful topic of .pk ccTLD vis-a-vis Pakistan and its fledging ICT boom has been discussed on this blog in the past. Right now, an active debate is taking place on the same topic at Pakistan ICT Policy Monitor list here (yahoo ID required).