The Ministry of Industry has launched the public consultation on the registry for the .fr TLD in order to inform the decision of the Minister on the prolongation of Afnic’s term as the registry for the .fr TLD.
The prolongation, made possible by the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act (CPCE), provides an opportunity to take stock of the progress of the .fr TLD over the last 4 years, as well as of Afnic’s commitments with respect to the State, and finally of the role of the registry in the French internet community.
For our association, this public consultation is much more than a mandatory step before a prolongation of our convention as the registry for the .fr TLD. It is a unique opportunity, since our appointment in June 2012, to take stock of what we have accomplished together with the registrars, registrants, and all of the stakeholders in the .fr TLD.
For thirty days, anyone can indicate how they think our country’s namespace is managed. Expectations can be expressed, sometimes new or old, as well as comments, and possible ways forward. But it is also an opportunity for all those who know us, and with whom we work every day, also to talk about the deadlines we have met, our successes, and the progress we have made. The State will decide on that basis whether to prolong our appointment until the next tender to be held in 2022.
“The fact that the State questions French people about the .fr TLD, and how it should be managed, shows the degree to which the national namespace is important for the development of the digital economy. As the registry for the .fr TLD for over 20 years, Afnic is proud of the work we have accomplished, and wants this irreplaceable tool to continue to work for the good of everyone in the French Internet community,” stated Mathieu Weill.
During the public consultation Afnic will publish a report as complete as possible on all of its commitments and achievements. That contribution will be made public. In our view, however, certain points merit being put forward before the consultation begins.
Afnic keeps its promises for the .fr TLD
For 4 years, in a fully open and transparent manner, Afnic has published all of the items that can be used to assess the Quality of Service of the .fr TLD, which can be found here.
These items illustrate the stability of its performance and its compliance with the registry’s commitments, whether in terms of the availability of our registration chain for registrars, the overall availability of the .fr TLD, or phone and email support. This performance is the result of the efforts for continuous improvement by Afnic teams and our constant policy of investment in the security and resilience of .fr TLD, accounting for 8% of our annual turnover. These investments, for example, have allowed us to set up a complete, real-time copy of our registration chain, in order to enhance our disaster recovery plan.
Our Quality of Service is recognized by our registrars, over 95% of whom are satisfied or highly satisfied with our services. A promotion campaign for the national namespace (reussir-en.fr) was launched in 2013. Today more than 100,000 visitors each month benefit from the tips and advice provided on the reussir-en.fr website to develop their online presence.
The .fr TLD has continued to grow for the last 4 years at a consistently higher rate than its European counterparts, and is expected to exceed three million registrations in a few months. Its prices have decreased by 5% over the same period, while new services have emerged: .fr lock, to secure a domain name and guard against website traffic diversion by the DNS, and multi-year registration to avoid annual renewals.
Regarding the resolution of disputes in the .fr TLD, Afnic has set up the Syreli procedure. Since its launch, more than 800 decisions have been handed down by Afnic, allowing, in accordance with the rights relating to intellectual property, freedom of expression, and freedom of enterprise, to resolve disputes between rights holders and the registrants of domain names.
The .fr TLD, Innovation and Sharing
Over and above meeting operational performance requirements and customer relationships, being the registry for the .fr TLD also means creating value for the good of the Internet community.
This is what Afnic does, first by investing 10% of the revenue from the .fr TLD in research and development and skills transfer, at the national and international levels. Involved in international standardization fora (in particular the IETF), Afnic advances the cause of the protection of personal data within the DNS, through its “DNS & privacy” work.
Afnic is closely involved in projects concerning the Internet of Things (adoption in 2013 of the ONS 2.0 standard), and is developing its production capacity for open data (the Afnic Opendata Project) and its capacity for data analysis (Registry Analytics). Afnic believes the .fr TLD must always be innovative.
Through the consultative committees and the many events in which it takes part, Afnic transfers its technical expertise and its knowledge of Internet governance. For example, it has played an important role in the development of ICANN reform, preserving the independence of the .fr TLD with respect to the US regulator, while proposing changes that allow ICANN to be better controlled by its own stakeholders.
Finally, with the establishment of the Afnic Foundation for digital solidarity since 2012 nearly EUR 4 million have been contributed to finance solidarity projects, so that the Internet works for the good of the greatest number. The first projects to be funded will be announced in early July.
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, has committed to devoting 11% of its Revenues from managing .fr Top Level Domain to actions of general interest, in particular by transferring €1.3 million each year to the Afnic 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.