AFNIC assignments & strategic priorities 2017-2019

Afnic is a non-profit organization created in 1998 and manages the French TLD suffixes on the Internet.

Afnic is a non-profit organization created in 1998 as a spin-off from the French  Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) which had hosted the pioneering work on the French Internet since the mid-1980s. Afnic has adopted a multi-stakeholder form of governance, i.e. it combines public authorities, users and the private sector.

Afnic is an independent association, which receives no subsidies and operates as a business. Its business and team are fully financed by the services it provides.

Afnic's assignments

Afnic manages the French TLD suffixes on the Internet: . fr (France), .re (Reunion Island), .pm (St. Pierre and Miquelon), .tf  (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna), and .yt (Mayotte), representing more than 3 million domain names.  

Its role forms part of a broader task of providing services of general interest, by contributing each day through the efforts of its teams and its members:

  • to an Internet that is secure and stable;
  • that is open to innovation:
  • and in which the French internet community plays a key role. 

Thus, in addition to its role as the Registry for the .fr TLD, Afnic is also a technical registry operator on behalf of the companies and local authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD suffix. To date, Afnic manages fourteen generic domains including .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh and .leclerc, to name but a few.

Afnic's strategic priorities 2017 - 2019

For the 2017-2019 period, one of Afnic's priorities is to help make France a European leader in online presence. As part of that aim, the association wishes to help develop the online presence of one million small and medium enterprises, which are not yet present on the Internet. 

Its strategy today is based on 5 key factors:

  • The simplicity of the .fr namespace


Registering and configuring a domain name remains complex procedures for many sectors of the public. To facilitate the operations for registrars and domain name holders, Afnic will continue to simplify its procedures. The first steps in that process were initiated in 2016, such as simplifying holder change operations.

Afnic will work on clarifying and simplifying the milestones that mark the life of a domain name, and as an indirect result, the experience of its holder, including the creation, renewal, transfer or validity period of a domain name... All these concepts will be analyzed in depth and reviewed to make their use by holders as simple and intuitive as possible.

  • Online presence

Because of the size of the potential catch – 1 million French SMEs still had no  website in 2016 – Afnic will continue to diversify its range of offers and advice about online presence.

The strategy was initiated in 2014 with the launch of the Ré, platform which provides support and services for those who launch an online business, be they SOHOs / SMEs or other companies.

The purpose of Ré is to show companies that having a personalized website and domain name is:

-       a simple, fast, and inexpensive process

-       an opportunity whatever your business activity in terms of reputation and business development

-       a pledge of credibility and reliability for customers, prospects and partners alike 

-       an even more effective lever when coupled with social networks

In 2017, Afnic will supplement its support services for entrepreneurs by offering a maturity study of their online presence and even more workshops in their region, in particular through partnerships with key industry players.

  • Attractiveness

As managers of the .fr TLD, Afnic wishes to the make the .fr  namespace even more attractive, simpler and competitive, in particular through the continuous improvement of its efficiency in the management of the .fr extension, and the development of associated services that meet the specific needs of certain users, such as securing sensitive name domains (fr Lock).

As an efficient and cost-effective technical registry operator, Afnic will continue its policy of providing its experience for partners that share its aspirations.

  • Digital solidarity

Most of the profits from the management of the .fr TLD are donated by Afnic to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity, the purpose of which is to support the development of an inclusive Internet, provide training and awareness-raising on the uses of the Internet, by supporting local as well as seminal digital solidarity initiatives, and research projects on the theme of digital solidarity.

In recent years the Afnic Foundation has received some 1 million euros in annual allocations, and has financed more than thirty projects.

  • Exemplarity


Afnic and its employees make every effort to ensure their customers benefit from their operational excellence. Those efforts were rewarded in 2014 when Afnic received the EFQM "recognized for excellence 4*" award for the performance of its management approach. That operational excellence approach continues today, with a new external audit scheduled for 2017.

Furthermore, a second milestone was reached in June 2016 when Afnic was awarded ISO 27001 certification, attesting to the quality of the security management system implemented by Afnic.

Finally, Afnic is continuing its efforts to ensure the sustainable development of its activities, as shown by the carbon audits it regularly publishes and which attest to an effective reduction in the association's emissions of greenhouse gases of more than 2% per year. We shall maintain our objective of a global reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions by 20% over 10 years, so that the .fr TLD is green as well as supportive.

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