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AFNIC makes an initial assessment after opening the registration of IDNs

Home > Observatory and resources > News > AFNIC makes an initial assessment after opening the registration of IDNs





It is now possible to register domain names with new characters such as “é, è, ê, or β”, to name but a few. They round out the existing list of 37 characters used for domain name to which Internet users are more accustomed.


AFNIC has set up a “Sunrise” period to open IDNs, running from May 3 to July 3, 2012. For the time being, only the holders of domain names with one of the .fr, .re, .yt, .pm, .wf or .tf extensions in their ASCII version are allowed to submit variations of their domain names using the new characters.


After July 3, registration will be open to all, according to the “first come, first served” rule.



Initial results




  • In the first 3 hours after opening the registration of IDNs, 32 registrars submitted creation operations for 1009 domain names with diacritical marks.


  • “né” was the first IDN to be registered under the .fr TLD by the registrar ASTURIA.


  • The 5 most popular new characters are as follows:


– “é”, used 926 times,


– “è”, used 118 times,


– “à” and “ô”, each of which was used 25 times


– “ç”, used 19 times.


“gites-bretagne-côté”, “vanniè”, “kiosqueà” and “bpifaç” are examples of the new domain names registered.


  • The top 10 registrars with the highest number of IDNs registered are as follows:


– OVH  with 428 registrations






– Nordnet: 61


– VIADUC: 48




– GANDI: 44








Infographics about IDN



Image IDN sunrise opening

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.