On November 6, Afnic, which manages Internet addresses in .fr, celebrated the inauguration of its new offices in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, in the greater urban area of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
After 13 years at 2 rue Stephenson, since March 31 the Association has moved to new premises at… 1 rue Stephenson. A small step in space but a giant leap in size to meet the success of the .fr TLD (which has expanded from 300,000 .fr domain names in 2001 to nearly three million today) and the growing number of employees (from 35 in 2001 to 80 this year). The new premises also illustrate Afnic’s commitment to a sustainable development approach.
Premises to discuss and share with all of our partners
Mathieu Weill, CEO, reiterated the relevance of the user-driven, multi-stakeholder model of Afnic and its mission of public interest for openness and transparency. “From the outset, we wanted our offices not only to provide space in which to work but also to discuss and share with all of our partners.”
Mathieu WEILL, CEO – Afnic
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Axelle Lemaire, France’s Secretary of State for the Digital Economy and Dr. Steve Crocker, Internet pioneer and current President of ICANN, the organization responsible for names domain worldwide. Both praised Afnic’s work and its contribution to global governance of the Internet.
The Internet governance
Axelle LEMAIRE – France’s Secretary of State for the Digital Economy
Axelle Lemaire said that “Internet governance had once again become a political issue in the noble sense of the term” and that it was now “a historic moment for the Internet, the age of multitude.” For the Secretary of State for the Digital Economy, “it is out of the question for Europe to remain on the sidelines and not make its voice heard.“
In the presence of the Prefect for the Yvelines department, the festivities were also attended by Michel Laugier, Mayor of Montigny-le-Bretonneux and President of the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines conurbation committee, and by its first vice-president, Jean-Michel Fourgous. Patrice Martin-Lalande, Deputy and co-chair of the “Internet and digital society” Study Group also came to welcome Afnic and its members, as well as 80 guests from the French digital ecosystem.
From left to right:
Mathieu WEILL, CEO, Afnic – Dr. Steve CROCKER, President, ICANN – Axelle LEMAIRE, France – Emmanuel SARTORIUS, President, Afnic
The inauguration was preceded by another highlight, a round table on “Digital Solidarity”. Hosted by journalist Pascal Samama, it provided a platform for high-quality, stimulating talks by militant academic Jean Pouly, Dominique Burger from Braillenet, Benoît Genuini from Passerelles Numériques and Audrey-Jane Baldy from Emmaüs Connect.
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.