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2016, the beginning of a new cycle for Afnic

Home > Observatory and resources > Expert papers > 2016, the beginning of a new cycle for Afnic

digital solidarity candidate


After confirming the relevance of its model as a multi-registry operator in 2015, Afnic undertook a new cycle in 2016 by helping to achieve the goal of one million more French businesses online and make France a leader in Europe for online presence.

To do so we deployed our efforts in-house but also with all our members and partners, focusing on five priorities: online presence, simplicity, attractiveness, exemplary and solidarity.

Online presence

For the first time in 2016, we brought together all our customers and partners at the Afnic Forum, dedicated to online presence.

Afnic also went out to meet French companies from all backgrounds. While engaging , in trade shows such as the Paris Trade Fair for Entrepreneurs, or micro-entrepreneurs in partnership with registrars and stakeholders in online presence such as Jimdo, we promoted .fr and highlighted what it adds to online presence.

Through the Foliweb initiative, Afnic and its succeeding in .fr campaign also took part in more than fifty workshops throughout France to help small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers succeed on the Internet.


We know how paramount simplicity is for companies and individuals who want to invest in their online presence. One too many clicks is sometimes enough to discourage users. Registering a domain name in a few minutes or even seconds has been possible for many years, but the user experience as a whole still needs improvements.

For us, simplification starts by facilitating our registrars’ work. Their feedback during our annual satisfaction survey was extremely clear, and we paid attention to it, in particular taking into account the recommendations made by our consultative committees. The Registrars new online extranet is now unified and we have significantly simplified the procedure for changing the ownership of a domain name.


Recognized for carrying proximity and trust values for 87% of French people, the .fr continued its growth in 2016, at the end of November passing the symbolic milestone of 3 million domain names.

That momentum is the result of the long-term work of the “succeeding in .fr” campaign, a collective initiative between us and our registrars with whom we are proud to have increased the number of joint promotional operations as well as the constructive participation of our association’s members.

In addition, we are also very proud to support our 14 gTLD customers, and welcome the continued growth and reputation of members such as the .bzh or .alsace and the innovative use our MMA or LECLERC customers have made of their TLDs.


We are keenly aware of the honor bestowed on us and of our responsibility as the registry,  a  digital common good that deserves the very best in every aspect of its management.

First and foremost of course is the need for security and stability. 2016 marked the culmination of a major project to structure the information management system, when we obtained ISO27001 certification.

We also confirmed our progress in environmental matters by carrying out our third carbon audit, which showed the significant gains made.

Finally, our teams continued their ongoing efforts to free time and resources for new activities. More than twenty working groups were set up to reduce incidents, save time, and develop agility.


Serving the common good has long been one of Afnic’s core values, and it was fully reflected as such in 2016. Afnic Foundation launched its first call for projects, and awarded its first funds in favor of digital solidarity. More than 30 projects have been awarded so far.

Our international college, which includes some twenty of French speaking registries, considerably revived its activities in 2016. For the first time, for example, a concerted action to promote its members’ ccTLDs was conducted.

Finally, we know that we have served the collective interest by our major contribution to the achievement of the transfer of the IANA function, which helped emancipate ICANN from its American overseers just before the presidential elections took place in the United States.

None of these many achievements would have been possible without the dedication and skills of Afnic’s teams, and the mobilization of all our members and partners. Watching this community at work and contributing to it every day is a great privilege.

We are committed to follow the same path in 2017, and we have ambitious plans to further develop .fr this year as well. A great deal remains to be done to bring a million new businesses online.

We hope to meet your expectations in 2017, but also to provide you with new products and services, that might even surprise you, for the benefit of our community.

Against an international background still marked by tension and uncertainty for which the Internet is often blamed, we are more than ever convinced that our values of integrity, sense of collectiveness and of respect are our greatest assets. We shall continue to share those values with our members, our registrars and our partners, boosting exchange and innovation to build together a French Internet community that is increasingly active and recognized worldwide.

We wish you all the best for 2017, and success for your online projects!