Following the request from the US government on March 14, ICANN has begun to organize a discussion to develop a proposal for the oversight of IANA functions by September 2015.
For the record, these functions include the operational management of the Internet root zone, the assignment of IP address blocks and AS numbers to Regional Internet Registries (RIR), and the coordination of Internet protocols with IETF.
In its response, Afnic recalled that the transition process should concern the oversight of IANA functions as a whole, not just the root zone record management function, as ICANN seemed to suggest. Furthermore, Afnic recalled that the US government had an agreement with Verisign for publishing changes in the Internet root zone, and that the agreement, although not explicitly referred to in the NTIA statement, should be discussed during the process.
Afnic expressed its attachment to a secure and reliable Internet, and suggested using the results of the São Paulo meeting to ensure that the transition leads to a robust, sustainable mechanism, where each and everyone’s responsibilities are ensured by outside, independent audits and assessments. Afnic believes that this recommendation applies to all of the stakeholders involved in the operational management of the Internet root zone, which includes ICANN.
Finally, Afnic agreed with the need to promptly implement a steering group for this process, in order to coordinate and summarize worldwide contributions. However, it opposed the approval of members of the group by the ICANN Board, and recalled that all of the stakeholders, in particular national registries in charge of country-code internet TLDs, had their own coordination mechanisms, and were represented by their regional organizations (CENTR, for Afnic and its European counterparts, which also published a contribution [PDF file]) and CCNSO for ICANN itself.
Afnic’s contribution will be submitted for discussion during a special Consultative Committee meeting, open to all, on May 26.
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.