The new Agreement between the State and Afnic comes into force on 1 July 2022.
Afnic, a non-profit association, has managed the .fr domain names since 1997.
On 20 September 2021, the French State reaffirmed its trust in Afnic by designating it as the Registry for the .fr Internet domain for another five years.
Brought together in an Agreement, the responsibilities and duties relating to this public service concession reflect the level of requirement and the main thrusts of Afnic’s work for the coming years.
The main points to note include:
Developing the .fr TLD
Afnic certainly intends to continue and intensify its actions to promote the .fr domain, which involve a mixture of online actions, training courses and tangible support on the ground.
As prime movers of the digital transformation, we liaise with State services and numerous partners to develop the use of digital technology in France, particularly within the FranceNum government initiative.
We also aim to accompany, with the help of our partners, at least 10,000 businesses in their transition to digital by offering them a combination of support and action, building on the experience gained since 2020 in the “tous en ligne maintenant” (“all online now”) grouping, the actions of which are supported and financed by France Relance and the BPI. Réussir-en.fr (“Succeed with .fr”) will support us with this commitment, ensuring all the elements needed to develop the online presence of VSEs and SMEs. Since the creation of Réussir-en.fr in 2014, Afnic has already contributed to the creation and the digital success of 20,000 businesses per year.
Afnic has also committed to devoting 2% of its Revenues to joint promotional operations with its network of distributors, Registrars. This investment illustrates Afnic’s willingness to grant targeted price reductions in order to encourage the use of domain names. It also simplifies their day-to-day life by henceforth offering a single scale for .fr and more efficient and faster registration and data management interfaces.
In order to continue raising the awareness of young people (aged 16-25) as to their digital identity, Afnic is maintaining its support as well as a network of young “.fr ambassadors”. We provide them with educational content, practical advice and training for them to share in workshops for their community (school, university, etc.).
Ensuring ever greater security
Afnic continues to spare no effort to ensure the security, reliability and availability of the services it manages, as it has done since its creation.
As an Essential Service Operator and with our ISO 27001 certification, we will continue to strive daily to maintain these legal and normative requirements and even surpass them.
In terms of resilience, and in order to protect DNS infrastructure from possible DDoS attacks, we plan to extend our network of DNS servers in Europe and to install copies of the .fr domain with the main French ISPs.
The Association will also offer a training course to assist Registrars in deploying and managing the secured DNSSEC protocol.
Continuing to innovate and strengthen Afnic’s social and environmental responsibility
Afnic will invest 10% of its Revenues in R&D+i actions. Priority themes will be reducing the carbon footprint of the DNS, DNS security, the development of digital identities via the DNS and combating online abuse.
In parallel, we are bolstering our social and environmental responsibility by setting up a sustainable development management system that complies with ISO 26000. As well as publishing a carbon balance sheet every two years, Afnic is also committed to attaining carbon neutrality for the .fr domain.
Strengthening transparency and consultation
Changes to the scale of charges and to the Naming Charter, the reference document setting out the registration rules for the .fr and French overseas domains, will from now on be subject to extended prior consultation
To this end, Afnic will establish a public consultation mechanism allowing all interested parties to participate effectively in the Registry’s decision-making process, complementing the work of its associative bodies, which are open to all.
Afnic, Internet Governance coordinator
Afnic already has an active presence in the French and international Internet governance institutions and will be becoming even more involved to favour and promote the importance and richness of dialogue and cooperation.
As such, Afnic is working on establishing a platform for discussions and exchanges open to all French Internet actors on the theme of Internet governance.
We also intend to launch a quarterly newsletter on the topic, with the latest news from the Internet governance bodies (IETF, ICANN, CENTR, RIPE, ITU-T, IGF, etc.), to be sent to public decision-makers with a view to raising their awareness of the stakes at play.
To round out these efforts, Afnic intends to set up and coordinate an informal liaison committee among French DNS players and the public authorities to exchange views on technical, legislative and economic developments as they affect the DNS.
Lastly, Afnic has committed to becoming a sector member of the International Telecommunication Union, in order to participate more particularly in the work of ITU-T (standardisation) and ITU-D (development).
Continuing to work for general interest actions
Afnic has committed to devoting 11% of its Revenues to actions of general interest, in particular by transferring €1.3 million each year to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity.
The priority themes for the allocation of these grants have been determined in consultation with the State for the years 2022-2024. They concern the digital transformation of businesses and private individuals; the contribution of digital technology to reducing the carbon footprint; the transfer of skills on subjects relating to the digital transformation; and the contribution to maintaining and developing digital communal areas.
Still in the context of general interest, and beyond the framework of the Agreement which covers only the .fr TLD, Afnic also intends to provide the same quality of service and security as that provided to the .fr domain to all the French overseas domains that it manages: .re (Réunion), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte).
On the legal front, Afnic has always been much invested, since its creation, in the protection of rights holders and respect for personal data and is now enhancing its systems for combating abuse. Monthly technical verifications and identity checks on domain name holders will be reinforced, with the cooperation of the Registrars.
Afnic is happy and proud to extend its mission in the service of the .fr domain and the development of the Internet in France and to continue to apply its expertise to making sure the .fr domain continues to flourish and grow.Agreement between the State & Afnic for the management of the .fr Internet Top Level Domain (July 2022 - PDF - in French only)
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.