Afnic’s missions and 2020-2022 strategic focuses

An independent association under the French Law of 1901, Afnic manages French TLDs and acts as a back-end registry for companies and local and regional authorities

Afnic is a non-profit organisation created in 1998 by the Institut National de la Recherche en Informatique et Automatique which had hosted this pioneering activity for the French Internet since the mid-1980s. Its governance uses a multi-stakeholder approach, that is to say it brings together public powers, users and the private sector.

Afnic is an independent association that receives no external subsidies and that operates like a business. Its activities and teams are financed entirely through provision of its services.

Afnic’s missions

Afnic manages the French TLDs: .fr (France), .re (Réunion), .yt (Mayotte), .wf (Wallis and Futuna), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Lands) and .pm (Saint-Pierre et Miquelon), which represent over 3.5 million domain names.

This 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 such, in addition to its role as the registrar for .fr, Afnic is also a back-end registry for companies and local and regional authorities that have opted for their own TLD. To date, Afnic supports fourteen generic domains including .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc, .bostik, .total, .aquarelle, and .lancaster.

Afnic’s vision

For the 2020-2022 period, Afnic aims to use Internet Names to enhance the online presence and digital identity of companies and individuals, thanks to a secure, efficient agile and innovative and sustainable registry.

More specifically, its strategy is based on 3 fundamental vectors:


1 - Make .fr an obvious choice for companies’ and individuals’ online presence

Because the digital transformation is a national challenge for competitiveness and citizenship, Afnic will continue to diversify its range of services and advice regarding online presence. At the end of 2019, in order to provide companies and private individuals with further assistance, Afnic chose to:


  • develop the young people’s programme within the development plan for .fr in partnership with its distribution network and with the help of young .fr ambassadors;
  • promote simple and affordable online presence solutions for VSEs/SMEs, in partnership with Francenum;
  • enhance the number of VSEs/SMEs who receive help with their online presence from the Réussir-en.fr programme;
  • demonstrate the comparative advantages of .fr to the general public and entrepreneurs, in order to raise its profile. Beyond awareness-raising and support for VSEs, SMEs and young people when it comes to their online presence, Afnic’s goal over the next three years is to prompt concrete action to catch up France’s gap in this field, and therefore open up new opportunities for economic development thanks to .fr.


2 - Provide secure, efficient, agile and innovative registry services

As an efficient and profitable back-end registry, Afnic has set itself the goal of combining resilience and agility. Our strength is recognised as the ability to maintain high levels of service quality and continuity for over twenty years. But this strength must go hand in hand with a capacity to evolve, to provide new services and a faster response to changing demand among our registrar and registry clients, while maintaining our resilience. With this in mind, Afnic is aiming for the following over the next three years:

  • to supply all of the TLDs under its responsibility with an entirely revamped, more agile and more efficient information system while continuing to ensure the stability and robustness it is recognised for today;
  • to expand its service offering of new generic TLDs and foreign country codes to new clients;
  • to enhance its effectiveness in combating DNS abuse and provide training and support solutions to companies in the field of DNS security.


3- Optimise the social, economic and ecological benefits of the DNS, particularly through innovation and the diversification of Afnic’s activities

Afnic has chosen to incorporate social responsibility into its three-year strategy. For the first time, social responsibility will be an explicit pillar of its roadmap designed to optimise the social, economic and environmental benefits of the DNS, particularly through innovation and the diversification of its activities.


Afnic launched its environmental initiative in 2013 with its first Bilan Carbone© carbon footprint assessment, as well as the implementation of an ambitious action plan (new travel policy, responsible purchasing, relocation to more energy-efficient offices, in-house awareness-raising campaign, etc.), the results of which were highlighted by the 2015 Bilan Carbone©.

The latest Bilan Carbone©, once again conducted in collaboration with the EcoAct consultancy firm, nevertheless shows that the growth of its activities has had a certain impact on its footprint, with a 2.7% increase for 2018 compared to 2015 (865 tCO2eq vs. 842). However, the footprint per FTE (full-time equivalent) has continued to decrease by 0.8% in tCO2eq for a workforce up 3.53% and against a backdrop of the diversification of Afnic’s activities. Afnic’s goal is to deepen the currently piecemeal knowledge, even at international level, of the carbon impact of activities connected to domain names in order to put in place an ambitious action plan concentrated on its core business, and to share these discoveries with its counterparts. The Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity also underscores the strong social commitment of Afnic, which donates 90% of the profits from .fr to the foundation. 176 projects have received support since its creation in 2015, amounting to a total of €3.9 million. Afnic’s efforts in terms of the operational performance and promotion of .fr also have direct benefits for the Afnic Foundation and its ability to support more outreach initiatives to encourage digital inclusion. Today, Afnic intends to step up these ecological and CSR commitments. To do so, it aims to be able to do the following by 2022:

  • analyse the carbon impact of its registry activity, produce an emissions reduction action plan to make the .fr stand out and to ensure it is a ‘low-carbon’ TLD, and to share the results of its initiatives;
  • capitalise on the leveraging effect of collaborative approaches to research to find innovative solutions that place the DNS at the service of new technologies (Internet of Things, for example) and that focus on security or the environmental impact of naming services.

To achieve all of the goals under these three new strategic focuses, Afnic will draw on quality concepts (EFQM), information security management systems (ISO 27001), ANSSI recommendations as an operator of essential services, and those of the CNIL which are set out in its data protection management system.

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