On Friday, March 14, 2014, Afnic took note of the U.S. government’s decision to begin the transition process leading to the transfer of its responsibilities in terms of supervision of the Internet root zone.
The decision has prompted a period of consultations and discussions worldwide, and according to the terms of the U.S. administration, ICANN is now in charge of coordinating the discussions, and of cosntructing an alternative to the supervision of the U.S. government over the domain name system.
Afnic intends to be an active participant in these discussions and, in line with its commitments with respect to the French Internet community, to ensure that the opinions of French Internet users be known and heard.
Following on from the recent success of the first French forum on Internet Governance held in the premises of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE), Afnic will continue to encourage the entire ecosystem to defend a technical governance of the Internet which respects the principles of security, stability, openness, and participation of all the stakeholders.
“The transfer of the supervision of the Internet root zone by the Government of the United States represents a welcome change, and a major challenge for the Internet technical community. The forthcoming discussions will be of prime importance. French Internet users will have their say, whether in the private sector or civil society, and Afnic will be happy to serve as their spokesperson, in particular with respect to ICANN,” stated Mathieu Weill, CEO of Afnic.
After the ICANN meeting in Singapore, which will be held from 23 to 27 March, Afnic will convene its consultative committees for a series of extraordinary meetings to report on the discussions and seek the opinions of the French Internet community.
Given the exceptional nature of the circumstances, these committee meetings, which are normally accessible only to Afnic members, will be open to stakeholders in general. The arrangements for participation will be communicated in the coming weeks on the Afnic website.
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.