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Afnic continues to invest in the online presence of French Internet users

Home > Observatory and resources > News > Afnic continues to invest in the online presence of French Internet users

Its commitment is reflected in initiatives designed to develop digital practices in France and promotional campaigns for productive uses of the Web, such as the “ré” campaign (“Succeeding in .fr TLD”).

Supporting the development of the market for domain names under the .fr TLD

One of Afnic’s aims is to continue to help the .fr TLD gain ground and increase the penetration rate for domain names in France. Our country, which still lags significantly behind its major neighbors (Germany, UK, Netherlands) in the use of domain names, has indeed the resources to significantly reduce this gap (1).

« The expansion of the .fr TLD remains strong, with a growth rate of 3.7% (2) over the last twelve months, while the European average stagnated at 2.3% over the same period. This growth momentum is being built on a daily basis through the support amongst other things for the development of the online presence of SMEs/VSEs, which constitute a great opportunity for the French economy but are under-represented on the Internet: only 1 out of 2 small businesses in France has a website. Fostering the .fr TLD means also promoting know-how “made in France” and the country’s economic and cultural wealth as conveyed in the values of the .fr TLD: trust, proximity, efficiency and innovation. Afnic therefore intends to play a leading role in providing that support and already promotes success with the .fr TLD » adds Mathieu Weill, CEO of AFNIC.

Supporting professionals in their digital transition through “Réussir en .fr”

In line with the French government’s “Digital Transition” program, Afnic has developed for these entrepreneurs the digital platform “Ré”. Launched in September 2014, it guides them through the early stages of creating a business on the Internet, such as purchasing a domain name, creating a mail address, a blog, etc.
Since fall 2015, this system has expanded with “La Box Réussir en .fr“, a free monthly webzine providing entrepreneurs with advice focusing on four issues that are essential in managing a company (Commercial, Legal, Communication, Management), allowing them to leverage the resources required to develop their activity.

Bridging the digital divide through the creation of the Foundation for Digital Solidarity

A study conducted in 2013 by the French Research Centre for the Study and Monitoring of Living Standards (CREDOC) on the presence of computers in French households showed that glaring digital inequalities continue to exist in France: 17% of the households had no PC, 20% had no Internet access, and 18% of French people were affected by so-called “digital social exclusion.”

In response to those facts, in April 2015 Afnic created the Foundation for Digital Solidarity, which will work towards the development of an Inclusive Internet and will conduct operations to promote access to digital training and awareness about the use of the Internet. The Foundation is also committed to the issue of the accessibility of computer tools and the Internet for the visually impaired. Each year, Afnic allocates 90% of the profits from managing the .fr TLD to financing the Foundation and its operations, and will issue the first calls for projects by the end of 2015.

Forthcoming events

On Monday, November 23, Afnic will be co-organizing a symposium with the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) entitled “World Summit on the Information Society: achievements over the last 10 years”

The purpose of the day’s debates is to provide input for the view that the French delegation will put forward in December in New York. 23 November, 09:00 to 17:45 – IFRI

On Friday, December 4, Afnic will be organizing a debate on the theme: Selecting an online address for your business: asking the right questions.

The purpose of the breakfast debate is to help clarify the issues involved in choosing a domain name for professionals, and answer their questions about this unique recognition component, and primary means of contact with their future customers on the Internet. On 4 December, 08:30 to 10:30 – Versailles Grand Parc Business Incubator.

On Wednesday, February 3 and Thursday, February 4, 2016 Afnic will be taking part in the Entrepreneur Trade Fair in Paris.

or the fourth year running, Afnic will be advising entrepreneurs on its stand about their web presence strategy. We will also be hosting practical workshops over the two days.
 February 3 and 4 from 09:00 to 19:00 – Palais des Congrès de Paris – Porte Maillot


(1) The French market is still expanding with 115 domain names per 1,000 inhabitants on a global market of some 7,900,000 domain names – all TLDs included –. In Germany for the .de only, it represents 181 domain names per 1,000 inhabitants (DENIC data).

(2) Data as at 30 September 2015.


About Afnic

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 nearly 90 employees.