Issued for the first time in 2007, the French Domain Name Industry Report is designed to enable better understanding of domain names and the stakeholders involved by providing the keys for the analysing the market as well as its strengths and weaknesses. Based on quantified data, including the retrieval of non-confidential information from the AFNIC data base, public news sites and opinion surveys, the report develops themes as diverse as the equipment rate of the French population in computers, the terms most used in domain names, or the rates offered by registrars.
The robust health of the .fr TLD, the favourite extension in France
The 2010 edition of the Report shows that, despite the sharp slowdown in the growth of domain names last year, the .fr domain name is doing well : with an annual growth rate of 21%, the .fr TLD has kept a 10-point lead over to the average growth rate for other Top Level Domains. The .fr TLD is gaining some 300,000 domain names per year, today standing at the 1.87 million mark. It currently represents one third of all the domain names registered in France.
The report also looks at the opinion poll carried out by AFNIC last June, which shows the strong preference of French people for the .fr TLD : for 78% of the respondents, .fr represents a bond with France, and 76% of them spontaneously use it to search for the site of a French company.
Finally, according to the same document, the secondary market for domain names is continuing to expand. The annual number of transactions for .fr domain names grew 30% in 2009. The median sales price for .fr domain names stood at around 650 euros in the first half of 2010, the record for the “credit.fr” extension reaching some EUR 600,000.
A registrar market which is continuing to restructure
The restructuring of the market for registrars of .fr domain names is continuing with an 8% decrease in the number of registrars, now estimated to be 800.
In addition, for the first time the Report highlights the catchment areas of registrars of .fr domain names, i.e. the number of départements covered by the customer base of each registrar in France, thereby enabling an assessment of the commercial scope of registrars. It shows that a small portion of registrars (15% on the private individual market, 6% on the corporate market) has a local customer base estimated at a few départements, while 30% to 40% cover almost all of metropolitan France.
Finally, the report indicates said that the median price of a domain name has remained stable, estimated at 12 euros, in line with the other extensions.
Technological changes to come
The Report also looks at the deployment of IPv6, which is still as modest as far as servers are concerned : for example, while 6% of the DNS servers for domain names are IPv6-compatible, this ratio is only 1% for web servers and even less for e-mail servers.
The report also shows that several changes have been made under the .fr TLD in the field of security :
The signature of the .fr zone with DNSSEC last September, which will ultimately protect Internet users against attacks by cache poisoning
The deployment by AFNIC its own anycast cloud in order to improve the distribution of the DNS service in the .fr zone on a series of physical servers distributed worldwide.
Download the French Domain Name Industry Report – 2010 Edition (8.8 Mo – 128 pages)
URL: http://www.afnic.fr/actu/observatoire or http://www.afnic.fr/data/actu/public/2010/afnic-french-domain-name-report-2010.pdf
(Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération )
Non-profit organization, AFNIC is in charge of the administrative and technical management of the .fr (France) and .re (Reunion Island) Internet domain names.
AFNIC brings together public and private members: representatives from the French government, Internet users and Internet Service Providers (Registrars).
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.