The Internet today depends on the DNS (Domain Name System) for almost all of its services. The DNS is the system for retrieving and storing vital technical information from a domain name.
The DNS is a robust, decentralized and relatively simple system, strengths that have made it one of the pillars of the Internet. However, like any computer system, the DNS is not perfect and has weaknesses that are both technical and political, due to the nature of its tree structure in particular.
Is it then an alternative solution to this essential system for the Internet to function?
The issue paper indicates the current state of play and expectations. It then reviews the alternative solutions to the DNS and draws a comparison.
The document is one of the issue papers regularly published by 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.