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2008 outlook for .fr domain names

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Dot-fr domain names are on the rise. With currently more than 1 million .fr domain names, the French web market is being more and more sizable (see table 1). The rise of this extension is particulary due to the active internet policy of AFNIC (.fr registry) and corporate registrations. For example, in order to consolidate its assets, AFNIC has recently acquired the domain names nommage.fr and zonefile.fr, initially registered by a registrar since 2000.

Table 1: distribution of .fr domain names

fr 995 088
asso.fr 7 087
com.fr 6 190
tm.fr 4 641
nom.fr 1 305
presse.fr 163
prd.fr 77

AFNIC has also published a report on .fr market observations with intention of highlighting its importance among the public and private entities (read AFNIC report). The document reveals that:

  • domain variations are linked to internet penetration rate
  • .fr rise is likely due to less registration restrictions (opened to individuals living in France since June 2006),
  • the extension benefits from a good popularity among web users (close to local population, French speaking countries, secureness in case of disputes).
According to AFNIC, .fr usage is distributed as below: Table 2: usage of .fr domain names
corporate sites (variety of sectors: tourism, leasure, medias, etc.) 46,0%
parking pages (including Pay per Click parking pages) 23,0%
personal sites (including blogs) 4,7%
other 32,3%

Compared to the leading geographical extensions (ccTLDs), .fr is late despite the catching-up effect (+66% of .fr creations in 2006). Therefore, strategic evolutions appear as the key of the .fr development, such as integration of IDNs and creation of new second level extensions.

Table 3 : Main TLD statistics on December 2007

.com 71,619,962
.de 11,673,389
.net 10,623,637
.cn 8,459,174
.uk 6,486,829
.org 6,373,837
.info 4,948,539
.eu 2,715,101
.nl 2,695,828
.biz 1,903,406
Source: Denic
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