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IDN - technical specifications

Friday 03 February 2012 15:24:00

AFNIC will shortly be opening the registration of IDNs (Internationalized Domain Name). [...]

This new feature will extend the number of characters used to compose a domain name label to 67 (37 to date), for all of the 6 extensions currently managed by our organization (.fr, .re, .tf, .wf, .pm, and .yt)

The document explains the changes you will see on our interfaces can be found here :

It also details the opening procedure, which will involve 2 phases (sunrise and rush) and to which the following schedule will apply.

The opening schedule is as follows (the exact times will be announced later):

  • 3 February 2012: Publication of the specifications for registrars.
  • 3 May 2012: Launch of the IDN sunrise period with the "Grandfathering" rule.
  • 3 July 2012: Opening with IDN attribution according to the "first come, first served" rule.

We should like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for replying in so many numbers to the questionnaire we sent out mid January on the subject, which allowed us to validate various options.

Please note that the terms and conditions to register domain names subject to prior review will be finalized soon. We will inform you as soon as possible specific rules that will be implemented.

Thank you for your attention. Should you have any questions we shall be happy to provide you with any additional information you may require so that you can fully inform your customers about this new feature. Please do not hesitate to contact your customer service representative or our support department by telephone to the +33 1 39 30 83 00 or by mail


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Afnic is the acronym for Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been appointed by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain. Afnic also manages the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs.
In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic's role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, donates 90% of its profits to its Foundation for Digital Solidarity. Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf.
Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has 80 employees.