ICANN has assessed more than 1,900 applications for New gTLDs over the last year. On Friday May 10, the applications for the .bzh and .paris projects were accepted. The approval represents a key step in these projects since it confirms the agreement in principle for the applications for the .bzh New gTLD and for the .paris New gTLD. In the coming months each project must pass various technical tests and sign the registry agreement with ICANN before the domains become actually visible on the Internet. Meanwhile, the preparations for the commercial launch of the two New gTLDs will soon start to build up.
The .bzh and .paris TLDs are two of the 17 projects for New gTLDs that Afnic has backed as a technical registry operator.
In reaction to the news, Mathieu Weill, CEO of Afnic, stated:
“These two projects are emblematic because they are pioneers on the national and international level. They have played a leading role for several years, as a community project in the case of the .bzh New gTLD on the one hand, and as a project for one of the world’s top capitals in the case of the .paris New gTLD on the other. We are extremely pleased that the quality of their work has been recognized in this way by ICANN’s approval and are proud to serve their respective communities.”
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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.