.FR extension is no exception to the trend towards concentration in the domain name sector

Afnic Registrar Day
Afnic Registrar Day

On 23 January, Afnic the French domain name registry held its Registrar Day, an event aimed primarily at the registrars. Like every year, it was an opportunity to look back over the past year and look ahead to the current one.

The figures drawn up by Afnic for 2023 show an excellent dynamic. Indeed, the .FR extension has passed the 4.1 million domain names, ranking 7th among country-code Top level domains globally and still 3rd among the 27 Top level domains of the European Union. With a renewal rate of over 83% in 2023 and a 6.4% increase in new domains, the .FR domain has flattering figures for 2023.

Afnic has also drawn up an overview of its registrars. Above all, it shows increased concentration, which can also be seen in other Internet extensions and, more generally, in the domain names industry as a whole. Two figures to illustrate this: the number of accredited registrars has fallen by 40% in 10 years, and 38% of accredited registrars now account for 99.5% of the domain names managed by the French Registry.

For 2024, Afnic wants to continue to strengthen the visibility and awareness of the French Top level domain .FR. This will of course involve digital communication and in traditional media. But it also involves enhancing the accuracy and reliability of contact data associated with domain names and stepping up the fight against malicious uses with measures involving registrars. The aim of these two initiatives is to improve the reputation of, and confidence in the .FR domains, and also to honour commitments made to the French State, its mandator.

The European NIS2 directive on cybersecurity, due to come into force in October 2024, is never far away either. Indeed the directive explicitly targets the activities of the DNS and domain name stakeholders. Let’s hope that the increase in the price of the .FR domain names on 1 March does not dampen this positive momentum.

Author: Arnaud Wittersheim

Head of Operations Department Nameregistry - Compliance - Nameshield