Afnic is increasing the fee for the .fr TLD for the 400 registrars distributing the domain. As of 1 March 2024, registrars will pay €5.07, an increase of 11.1%.
Afnic continues to work to ensure the high level of quality of the .fr TLD and its accessibility, however, the registry has had to cope with rising charges over the last two years:
Afnic is handling more and more disputes. To obtain the recovery or deletion of a domain name, Afnic makes available to anyone (natural or legal person) two extrajudicial inter partes procedures (SYRELI and PARL EXPERT) for resolving disputes. In the last three years, the number of complaints has increased considerably.
As for other businesses, organisations and associations, these budget constraints have been exacerbated by rising supplier prices over the past two years. These hikes concern IT purchasing, expenses connected with the running of the association, and overheads. Moreover, Afnic is being hit by the global computer equipment shortages which mean that it has to buy in larger volumes to avoid any risk of supply disruption that could jeopardise the stability of the .fr TLD. In many cases, the prices of this equipment and/or components are pushed up by their scarce supply, thus increasing the overall extra cost. Additionally, Afnic primarily employs technical specialties, profiles that are in high demand. Wages and benefits for these employees need to be competitive in order to attract and retain talent.
Lastly, the regulatory framework recently changed with the approval at the end of 2022 by the European MPs of the NIS 2 Directive (Network and Information Security), aimed at strengthening cybersecurity. As in 2019, to bring itself into line with the status of OES, the registry will be undertaking costly work in early 2024 in order to comply with the Directive.
This moderate increase in fees for the .fr TLD will help safeguard the registry’s ability to deliver results and to invest. It will enable Afnic to withstand the inflationary context without having its operational activity called into question; to preserve the societal dimension in its choice of responsible providers; and to maintain its competitiveness in the employment market. Furthermore, it will allow it to continue to effectively combat abuse and to increase spending on security.
Many of our European counterparts have already increased their fees, within a range of 6 to 20%. The .fr TLD also remains competitive compared to .com.
Lastly, Afnic will step up its investment in actions of general interest, since it is committed to ploughing back 11% of its turnover into actions of this type. The same goes for the registry’s R&D capacity, for which the commitment is 10% of turnover.
Consequently, the increase in the fee of the .fr TLD will allow the registry to preserve its fundamentals, namely an Internet that is secure, green and stable, managed by qualified staff, in an environment that leaves plenty of room for dialogue and social progress.
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.