For his first visit to France and Paris as the CEO of ICANN, Fadi Chehadé chose to come to meet the French domain name community. Proposed by Afnic, a key player in French domain names and in the presence of its CEO Mathieu Weill, as well as Sébastien Bachollet, a member of the ICANN Executive Committee behind the meeting, the afternoon was attended by some forty participants.
For nearly three hours, Fadi Chrhadé discussed various issues with key players in the French Internet sector (registrars, Internet access providers, specialized lawyers), as well as with government officials. Afnic’s purpose in the initiative was to carry out its assignment as a facilitator for the French Internet community.
The meeting also enabled the ICANN CEO to:
- announce the reorganization of the operational functions of ICANN into three hubs, located in Los Angeles, Singapore and Istanbul;
- confirm that the new extensions – such as .bzh or .paris for which Afnic is the technical operator – should be launched from mid-2013;
- indicate his vision of Internet governance, for which he envisages a development in the role of the U.S. government;
- and call on France, as a friend of the United States, to take its rightful place in that development.
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.