ISPA is an active industry body and operates a number of working groups focusing on topics of interest to Internet service providers and the Internet community. These working groups are driven by ISPA’s members and fellows and participation is encouraged. If you are employed by an ISPA member, or you hold an ISPA fellowship and you’d like to get involved in any of these working groups, please contact the ISPA Secretariat. Most of the working groups meet via teleconference once per month, so participation requires a commitment of 1-2 hours each month, plus some extra time to keep track of email discussions between meetings.
Domain Name WG
This working group focuses on domain name issues, particularly on the .ZA namespace. It is likely to be of interest to those who are active in providing domain name services. The Domain Name working group maintains close working relationships with the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) and the .ZA Central Registry (ZACR) and provides an Internet industry point of view on domain name regulations and policy, when necessary. The working group has also played a role in promoting the adoption of DNSSEC to enhance the security of consumers’ online experiences.
The industry sector operates on a multi-tiered model, with many ISPs offering access services using the networks of fibre or mobile operators. ISPs also frequently resell services provided by wholesale operators. The focus of this working group is to provide a platform for ISPs to engage with the network operators to ensure that competition in the sector is fair. The working group has developed a set of best practice guidelines for the fibre network industry designed to make sure that consumers experience a consistent experience when interacting with the sector.
PR and Communications WG
As a long-standing industry body, ISPA’s expertise and experience is often called upon by the media when Internet matters are in the news. ISPA also actively develops regular press releases to highlight issues of interest to the other working groups and ISPA in general. This working group is responsible for managing ISPA’s relationship with the press, and for planning and developing articles for release.
One of the most important roles ISPA has played throughout its more than a quarter century existence is to stay on top of Internet regulatory developments. This includes topics as diverse as content control, licensing and ownership requirements for ISPs, monitoring of customers, requirements for fair competition, interconnection of voice services, data breaches, and pricing of Internet services. While ISPA enjoys the support of an experienced team of legal and regulatory advisors, this working group provides overall strategic direction and guidance to that team. In addition to this working group’s activities, a Regulatory Briefing is provided to all members on a monthly basis. Those who do not have time to volunteer for this working group are encouraged to join the half-hour long briefing to make sure they stay informed.
ISPs are a critical part of the Internet security ecosystem, and ISPA has increasingly been called upon to facilitate collaboration between its members, law enforcement agencies, South Africa’s Cybersecurity Hub, as well as banking and other sector security bodies. Through the Security working group, ISPA has established an Internet sector CSIRT with a coordination and information distribution mandate. If you have an interest in Internet security issues, and you are associated with an ISPA member, or if you hold an ISPA fellowship, this working group may be of interest to you.
Social Development WG
Internet access can play a pivotal role in uplifting communities and empowering individuals. ISPA’s Social Development working group manages ISPA’s initiatives to provide skills development and transformation of the sector. Activities include the development of a skills registry to facilitate internships in the ICT sector, and overseeing the ISPA Inspires bursary program. If you are passionate about the role of ISPs in uplifting society, this working group would love to have you involved.