10 years ago, Afnic made it possible for anyone to register a domain name under the .fr TLD, which had previously been reserved for corporations. Individuals and companies were henceforth treated on an equal footing. This simplification has consolidated the ecosystem of the .fr TLD. Today the .fr namespace is a reference tool for individuals, companies and associations that want to assert their presence on-line.
A logical process that responded to a change in Internet usage
The opening to individuals decided 10 years ago was part of an aim not to reserve the Internet only for companies, and responded to the fast-developing personal use of the web by individuals, such as multiple email addresses or the use of blogs, which were rapidly expanding. 10 years later, nearly 40% of the 2.9 million domain names under the .fr TLD are held by individuals!
An on-line presence for all, the challenge of the .fr TLD
While that opening represented a milestone in on-line presence, much of the work on the on-line presence of individuals but also for French SOHOs and SMEs has yet to be done. France is lagging behind in terms of the number of companies with websites, and they are paying the price in terms of lost business opportunities.
But having an address under the .fr TLD has never been easier, since any person or company with a postal address in France or in the European Union can register a domain name in the .fr namespace, quickly and simply, in only 3 clicks!
The .fr TLD is the essential first step to on-line presence, making a professional project more credible, creating closer ties with customers, and trust among partners: in short, a simple, highly effective asset on which a company can capitalize. For individual, it is a way of sharing passions, increasing awareness about talents and expertise, or simply a low-cost tool with which to organize an important event.
To support French people in asserting their on-line presence, Afnic has created the “Reussir-en.fr” system, allowing users in 3 clicks to have a domain name and join a growing community of nearly 3 million domain name holders. The system was enriched in 2015 with a free monthly webzine La Box Réussir en .fr, created to facilitate use by entrepreneurs of the possibilities provided by the Internet to set up, develop and make their business more efficient.
“The opening of the .fr TLD to individuals in 2006 replied to the strong demand from French people to have an on-line presence that was simple and useful. We created Réussir en .fr, with the same idea in mind: to let everyone share in the benefits of on-line presence with the .fr TLD, of simplicity, trust and visibility for individuals as well as for professionals,” underlines Mathieu Weill, CEO of 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, 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.