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AFNIC publishes the 2011 edition of its French Domain Name Industry Report

Home > Observatory and resources > News > AFNIC publishes the 2011 edition of its French Domain Name Industry Report

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Factors and trends in this new edition

Growth of the .fr TLD well above the average rate for extensions

The new edition of the Industry Report shows that the .fr TLD retains a high absolute level of growth, of around 17% over one year, i.e. five points higher than the average for national extensions. The extension is adding domains at a rate of 300,000 new names a year, now representing more than 2.1 million names, or nearly one third of all the domain names registered in France.

A dynamic portfolio of .fr domain names, in line with current events

The 2011 edition of the French Domain Name Industry Report shows that the “portfolio” of names with the .fr extension is fully in line with current events: for example, “France” and “Paris” are the leading character strings forming .fr domain names, followed by terms related to the world of insurance and, logically, to 2011 and 2012. As far as the corporate sector is concerned, 94 of the top 100 companies in France and nearly 80% of the 1,000 largest companies registered their .fr domain name in 2011

Young urban holders

The Report shows that in 2011, 39.5% of the holders of .fr domain names were individuals, and 60.5% were corporate entities. The renewal rate of the .fr extension is around 80%, a figure which is high compared with other extensions around the world.

The study of the location of domain names in France still reports a significant concentration in departments with the greatest population density, for individuals and businesses alike. It also shows a strong correlation between the number of .fr domain names registered in French regions and the regional gross domestic product.

In addition, for the first time, the Report highlights the correlation between the monthly creations of .fr domain names and the monthly creations of companies in France. This shows that a significant proportion of the new domain names are filed because of start-ups in the national territory.

On-going market concentration

Concerning the section on Registrars, the 2011 Report shows that 16% of the registrars of .fr domain names are now located abroad against 14.5% last year.

In addition, the market concentration of registrars of .fr domain names is continuing inexorably, on both the individual segment and on the corporate sector. The market remains “concentrated” for individuals, and has reached the “moderately concentrated” level for the corporate sector.

Finally, the Report shows that the median price of a domain name proposed for end users is estimated at 12 euros plus VAT, and has remained stable in relation to previous years.

Major technological changes

The new edition of the Report shows that the share of .fr domain names that are IPv6-enabled has evolved considerably since last year: nearly 40% of .fr domain names now support IPv6 for DNS and more than 8% for mail servers, but only 2 % for web servers.

Finally, the percentage of requests received by the authoritative servers for IPv6 in the French namespace is also slightly up, standing at 1.5% this year.

Future prospects

This new edition of the Report discusses the changes that will impact the market for domain names, including:

  • The opening to Europe of the .fr and overseas extensions on 6 December. This opening could affect the structure of registrars, if new key players decided to invest in the French extension. In addition, with this background in mind, AFNIC is also studying the possibility of registering domain names in internationalised characters (IDNs) under the .fr TLD.
  • The process involving the creation of new gTLD extensions introduced by ICANN. Hundreds of new extensions, representing cities, regions, cultural communities, brand names or interests will emerge in the coming years. This change will drastically change the landscape of the Internet and will eventually impact the existing extensions and market participants.

Download the 2011 French Domain Name Industry Report

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.