Why join ISPA?
Anyone who operates an ISP knows that the South African Internet industry is highly competitive. It is also a highly regulated market, with a variety of licensing and registration requirements, legal obligations to disclose customer information under certain circumstances, as well as requirements to protect customer records. Membership of the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA NPC) is recommended for all Internet access and service providers for the following reasons:
- ISPA understands the legal and administrative burdens that ISPs in South Africa face, and has more than twenty years of experience in supporting companies of all sizes operating in the Internet sector.
- ISPA is the only industry body recognised by government under the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act. This provides members of ISPA with significant legal indemnities for third party content on their network.
- ISPA’s Code of Conduct encourages compliance with key pieces of legislation, and provides ISPs with templates and tools to assist. The Take-Down Notice process provides the public with an effective mechanism to report unlawful content. This process results in the removal of many phishing and fraud sites from the South African Internet each year.
- Consumers choosing to do business with an ISPA member know that they are supporting a company that strives to provide professional services and give their customers honest and accurate information about their services. ISPA’s mediation process assists hundreds of consumers each year resolve Internet service complaints. This process encourages swift resolution, but supports formal complaints reviewed by an independent adjudicator where necessary.
- ISPA monitors all pending legislation and regulations that might have an impact on ISPs. This covers a wide range of topics, including copyright, interception, spectrum policy, online harassment, cybercrime, and consumer protection. ISPA’s members are kept informed of developments that might affect their businesses, and topical advisories are available in the ISPA library.
- ISPA has considerable experience in providing input on developing policy, legislation and regulations, and enjoys a cooperative relationship with the government departments and regulatory bodies responsible for these processes. ISPA members who are interested in shaping ISPA’s regulatory submissions have an opportunity to do so through the regulatory working group.
- ISPA provides networking opportunities at workshops, conferences, video workshops and discussion lists. ISPA hosts regular regional events, which provide an opportunity for members to interact with each other and the broader Internet community.
- ISPA engages in outreach projects, to develop public awareness of online safety issues. These include the industry iCode, which seeks to educate consumers about malware and zombie botnets; an online safety poster project, and the very successful SuperTeachers project which supports innovation and digital literacy in South African schools.
- ISPA members enjoy discounted access to the Internet exchanges operated by INX-ZA.
- ISPA provides personalised support to individual members. If you need information or support relating to the South African Internet industry, ISPA’s Secretariat team will work hard to assist you.