France’s .fr grew by 4.4% in 2018, outstripping both the French domain name market as a whole, which grew by 2.1%, according to the Afnic 2018 annual report and global growth of 3.7% according to the January 2019 CENTRstats Global TLD Report. There was also a “very good renewal rate of 83.9%.”
According to Verisign’s Domain Name Industry Brief, there were 3.3 million .fr domain names at the end of 2018 making it the tenth largest ccTLD.
Afnic also reported “a rebound for business outside.fr with growth in the stock of domain names and a significant increase in the consultancy business.” In 2018 Afnic’s consultancy business took on the management and sales promotion of .museum in partnership with its registry, MuseDoma. Afnic also took on the backend registry of the Senegalese country code top-level domain (ccTLD) .sn. The new gTLDs operated and managed by Afnic (.paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .ovh, etc.) also saw their growth restart in 2018.
The year was marked by a sustained effort to promote the .fr, in particular through the Réussir-en.fr program. The partnership with Foliweb and Afnic’s presence at trade shows enabled direct outreach to more than 16,500 VSEs / SMEs, providing them with practical advice and tools for developing their online presence. With more than 5,000 responses to the reussiravecleweb.fr questionnaire, Afnic has acquired deeper knowledge of how these companies perceive their presence on the internet.
Afnic was also involved in launching the francenum.gouv.fr platform, becoming one of the first activators and providing content, with some of the most visited pages on the site.
The Afnic Foundation continued its work in favour of digital inclusion, and has become a mainstay of the French solidarity economy. 47 projects were selected for support by the Foundation in 2018, bringing the total number of projects it supports to 117 in the 3 years since it was launched, representing 2.73 million euros. Inclusion, employment, education, training and citizenship were the leading themes of 2018.
Finally, Afnic was co-organiser of the 13th edition of the World Internet Governance Forum held in Paris from 12 to 14 November 2018. More than 3,000 participants from 143 countries took part in 171 working sessions on topics such as cybersecurity, trust and protection of privacy; development, innovation and economic issues; digital inclusion and accessibility; emerging technologies; changing Internet governance; human rights, gender equality and youth, to name but a few. Afnic co-published with the Internet Society (ISOC) France, the National Council for the Digital Economy (CNNUM) and Renaissance Numérique “Messages from Paris”, a work coordinated by Henri Verdier, future ambassador for the Digital Sector, summarizing all the debates that took place during the forum.