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

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.

Afnic Registrar Day is back

Afnic Registrar Day

On January 10, the new edition of Registrar Day was held, organized by AFNIC, the registry of the .FR extension, this event is mainly intended for registrars.

While the event was usually held in December, this new edition, which was both accessible in person and remotely, and which took place after the pandemic period, was held at the beginning of this year, a way to place ourselves “in a new dynamic,” according to Pierre Bonis, AFNIC’s Director General.

The Registrar Day was an opportunity to review the highlights of the year 2022 for the organization, the most notable being the deployment of a new registry system on October 1 and the renewal by the French government of the .FR management concession for a new 5-year period. This renewal is accompanied by the implementation of new commitments such as access to registration data for authorized authorities or a strengthening of the fight against domain abuse.

In terms of figures, it should be noted that in 2022, .FR passed the 4 million mark in volume of domain names, a faster growth than the median rate of 2.0% recorded by the Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR) for the year 2022 at the level of European ccTLDs. It is worth noting that .FR ranks third in terms of volume among the ccTLDs of the European Union, behind .DE (Germany) with some 17 million domains and .NL (Netherlands) with more than 6 million domains, and is tied for 7th place with .AU (Australia) at the global level among the 308 ccTLDs delegated to the root 1  

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Image source : Afnic’s website