Benin’s ccTLD is changing hands, although reports indicate not much will be different after the transition.

When .bj was first delegated in the 1990s, the ccTLD manager was a government agency:  The Office of Post and Telecommunications (OPT).  The OPT was restructured in 2004, with commercial activities, including .bj domain name registration, being reassigned to a new private entity called Benin Telecoms S.A.  IANA has recongnized Benin Telecoms as ccTLD manager since 2012.

Two years later, a new government agency was formed, whose functions are similar to the OPT: The Electronic Communications and Postal Authority (ARCEP BENIN).  Benin Telecoms has given its consent for IANA to proceed with the redelegation of .bj to ARCEP BENIN.

ARCEP BENIN is already acting as the defacto ccTLD manager and in 2017 supervised a bidding process to select a registry operator.  The winner was a local internet services company called JENY SAS and their contract went into effect in July 2018.  This contract will remain valid after the ccTLD transitions to ARCEP BENIN.

Domain name services are provided through accredited registrars, of which the registry website lists 15.  All registrars appear to be local, likely a prerequisite of accreditation.

JENY SAS appears to make use of CoCCA software, as both the Whois and registrar login page are consistent with this frontend. According to the registry website, JENY handles registrar support.  They also offer a parking page for newly-registered domains.

.bj domain name service is offered by Toweb on a very limited basis, as a local Admin Contact is required and no trustee is available.  If the domain becomes unrestricted at some point after the formal transition to ARCEP BENIN, we will announce its availability in a separate post.

h/t Domain Incite