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Internet Architecture Board

Technical Advisory Committee of the ISOC in charge of coordinating the standardisation and research activities (IETF, Internet Engineering Task Force and IRTF, Internet Research Task Force), including the supervision of the Internet architecture, the publication of Request for Comments (RFC), and the administrative management of the numbers, addresses and names allocated to ensure the Internet works properly (domain names, autonomous system numbers, IP addresses, etc.)



Internet Assigned Numbers Authority

Created in the early 1990s, IANA's role is "dedicated to preserving the central coordinating functions of the global Internet for the public good". Its tasks are now very limited, most of them having been taken over by the ICANN as of its creation in 1998. It is thus no longer called the IANA body but the IANA function, integrated with the ICANN. IANA continues to maintain and publish the ccTLD database on its website.



Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers


This organisation was founded in October 1998 as an initiative of the American government. Its purpose was to take over Internet administration from the American government. As such, it is tasked with handling the issues involved in domain names but also in IP addresses (numbers identifying each machine on the Internet) and in the protocols used so that the machines can communicate with each other.



Eligibility Verification process provided for in the Afnic naming policy. This procedure is systematically applied when a new domain name is registered or transferred, and during occasional checks. It consists in checking the identification of the holder of the domain name (address, proof of nationality, residence or owning a registered trademark in France, etc.). If at least one of these items does not meet the rules specified in the naming policies, the domain name may be blocked and/or deleted.



Internationalized Domain Name

Originally, domain names (or to be more precise, machine names, as a domain name is generally reserved to declare ​​machines) could only comprise ASCII characters. "International" or "internationalised" domain names are those containing characters other than ASCII characters (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, accented characters). These domain names were standardised by the IETF in RFC 3490.

More information on our page dedicated to IDNs where Afnic also provides you with an IDN convertor.



The Internet Engineering Task Force

The IETF brings together research and development groups working on technologies and Internet protocols. Made up of volunteers, each working group is tasked with studying a particular subject. The IETF contributes to the development and evolution of the Internet and the associated technologies by defining and publishing standards (RFC). The IETF is a member of the ISOC.



IGC (the French acronym for key management infrastructure) or Public Key Infrastructure

See: PKI



French acronym for the National Institute of Industrial Property (Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle)

INPI is a public institution, created in 1951 under the authority of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry. It grants patents, trademarks, designs and models, and provides access to all the information on the industrial property of companies and people in France.



French acronym for the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique), a public research organisation dedicated to science and digital technology. Until 1997, INRIA governed the NIC France service before it was entrusted to Afnic after the latter's inception in 1998.



French acronym for the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques)

INSEE collects, produces and distributes information on the French economy and society so that all the stakeholders (government administration, companies, researchers, media, teachers, individuals) can use it to carry out studies, make forecasts and take decisions.


INSEE identifier

The identifier in the directory of the French national institute for statistics and economic studies (INSEE) represented by a unique number (head office registration no. (SIREN) for entities or individuals, branch registration no. (SIRET) for branches), used in the declaration of economic activity for the French national company directory and their associated branches, or the French national trade directory.



Refers to the series of networks interconnected at multiple points that use the same IP address and communication protocol, and the DNS domain name system. The Internet is characterised by its independence with respect to the types of machines involved (computers, communication devices, routing systems) and its decentralised architecture of "spider's web" type, designed so that information can take any number of paths to go from one point to another.



Internet address


Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Service provider that offers organisations and individuals different types of accounts with which to access the Internet. An ISP leases connections to the Internet and provides the related services needed by users.



Internet Network Information Center

InterNIC is a project supported by the NSF (National Science Foundation). Its original purpose was to be an international information and registration centre for the entire Internet community. InterNIC began operations in April 1993 with several associates:


  • General Atomics provided information services on the network acting as a NIC.
  • AT&T provided its expertise in databases and directories.
  • Networks Solutions, Inc. (NSI) provided registration services as well as IP addresses and generic domain names (".com", ".net", ".org").


At present, InterNIC only provides information on the registration of generic domain names. The registration service was entrusted to NSI (since acquired by Verisign), which continues to provide this service independent of InterNIC.



The ability of computers and any other digital systems to exchange information with each other on a common basis, or contribute to the performance of a common service for the user.  Interoperability is frequently based on a norm or a standard.



Network protocol common to all the devices connected to the Internet. The protocol handles the transmission of information divided into packets between an identified sender and an identified recipient (in the packet header) by a unique IP number. The transfer itself is performed by packet switching, i.e. the computer or the item of equipment receiving the packet of data is the correct recipient, or a relay node is responsible for redirecting the data to the correct recipient or to another relay. IPv4 and IPv6 are versions of this protocol.


IP Address

"Internet Protocol Address", also referred to as "Internet address"

Unique address used to identify hardware when it is connected to the network (computer, communicating object, 3G mobile phone, etc.). The address consists of a sequence of digits.


See also: Internet Protocol (IP), IPv4 and IPv6.


IP number



To date, IPv4 is the most widely used version of the IP protocol. The difference between versions mainly stems from the format of the IP addresses, created on a decimal base of four sets of three digits. This system, which has been used to create almost 4 billion unique addresses, is now close to saturation, and is gradually being replaced by IPv6.



IPv6 is the new version of the IP currently being deployed. It introduces a new addressing system, consisting of four segments of eight alphanumeric (hexadecimal) characters, thereby creating a reserve of 340 billion of billion of billion of billion of unique IP addresses.



International Organization for Standardization

ISO is a network of international standard institutes representing 160 countries worldwide. Its purpose is to establish a consensus on the interoperability of systems and procedures in the form of international norms and standards.



Internet SOCiety

Association of professionals focusing on the growth and evolution of the Internet worldwide, in various ways, such as the use of the Internet, as well as its social, political and technical consequences.



International Telecommunication Union