Membership

Apply for ISPA membership

You can apply for ISPA membership by clicking here. However before you do so, please ensure that you have read the membership application guidelines below, which explain the basic requirements for membership, the categories and fee structure.

Process

Once you have completed and submitted the membership form to the ISPA Secretariat, the application will be subjected to a cursory inspection to ensure that the basic requirements are met.

Thereafter you will be billed an application fee equivalent to a three-month membership fee. Once the payment has been received you will be placed in a provisional category and requested to do the following:

  1. Comply with the ISPA Code of Conduct: a user name and password will be provided to access an online portal. All new members are expected to comply fully with ISPA’s Code within thirty days of notification of being placed in the provisional category. ISPA provides an online wizard to assist with the compliance process but prospective members must note that several of the compliance requirements involve making documents (privacy policy, acceptable use policy, etc.) available on the member’s web site. ISPA is a recognised industry representative body in terms of Section 71 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2002 and compliance is therefore mandatory.
  2. Ensure that you have sufficient information on your web site to indicate that you offer relevant Internet services.

During this period, you will receive limited information from ISPA. We will however make every effort to assist you in becoming compliant.

After 30-days have passed, your company’s level of compliance will be assessed and a reminder sent to the primary contact person within your organisation.

If you have not complied fully with the ISPA Code within a three-month period, your application will be declined and removed from the provisional category. In addition the application fee paid will be forfeited.

If you however comply within this period, then no membership fee will be charged for the ensuing three-months and your application will then be sent to ISPA’s Operations Committee for ratification. The final stage of the approval process takes approximately 2-3 working days.

Membership categories

There are four categories of  ISPA membership:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • Backbone

Guidelines for selecting an appropriate category

Small membership
This category is intended for new companies, still getting established in the Internet services market, SMME service providers, or companies that do not have Internet services as their main focus, but provide them ancillary to other services.

Medium membership
This category is intended for established Internet service providers and companies that are no longer SMMEs or start-up businesses. These companies provide services to a significant section of the market.

  • If a member employs more than 20 staff to provide Internet services (or support for staff providing Internet services), then they should be at least a Medium member, or,
  • if a member maintains offices in more than one province, then they should be at least a Medium member, or,
  • if a member’s market share in any market segment is sufficient to place the member in the top twenty service providers for that market segment, the member should be at least a Medium member.
  • If a member is generating more than 10 consumer queries for ISPA per year, the member must upgrade to at least a Medium member.

Large membership
This category is intended for major operators in any Internet market segment and companies that have extended the reach of their services nationally.

  • If a member employs more than 50 staff to provide Internet services (or support for staff providing Internet services), then they should be at least a Large member, or,
  • if a member’s market share in any market segment is sufficient to place the member in the top five service providers for that market segment, the member should be at least a Large member.
  • If a member is generating more than 50 consumer queries for ISPA per year, the member must upgrade to at least a Large member.

Backbone membership
This category is intended for companies that operate sections of the nation’s backbone Internet infrastructure. A member that has a strong long-term commitment to supporting the Internet industry and a significant national presence should consider choosing the Backbone member category.


Notes:

  • For the purpose of these guidelines, market segments are considered to be: wholesale access, fixed line consumer access, mobile or wireless consumer access, business access, and hosting services.
  • For the purpose of these guidelines, consumer queries include take-down notices, consumer mediation requests and formal Code of Conduct complaints.
  • For the purpose of counting consumer queries, a Large or Backbone member of ISPA may nominate one subsidiary or related company that is a Medium or Small member and have that company’s queries counted against its total.

Voting versus non-voting members

Anyone providing Internet services in South Africa is welcome to apply for ISPA membership. However, only members in the business of providing Internet access or operating Internet infrastructure qualify as voting members. Where it is uncertain whether or not a particular member qualifies as a voting member, the Board of ISPA, in its sole discretion, shall make a determination.

Persons (natural or legal) or organisations active in the Internet industry, but who do not qualify as voting members may join ISPA as non-voting members. Some examples of potential non-voting members are:

  • Individuals providing Internet consulting services
  • Internet security, cryptography, authentication and certification providers
  • Web site or online content developers
  • Internet training providers

Those who provide Internet access or infrastructure as an adjunct to an existing business (such as hot spot hosts) may elect in which category they wish to apply, with suitable motivation.

Fees

Membership fees – Effective as of 1 September 2021 :

Membership categoryExcl. VATVATTotal
Small (monthly)R 780.00R 117.00R 897.00
Medium (monthly)R 3,130.00R 469.50R 3,599.50
Large (monthly)R 11,740.00R 1,761.00R 13,501.00
Backbone (monthly)R 20,100.00R 3,015.00R 23,115.00

Discount structure for annual fees paid in advance:

  • Small members may apply a 15% discount to the total annual amount if payment is made within 30-days of receipt of the invoice
  • Medium, Large and Backbone members may apply a 5% discount to the total annual amount if payment is made within 30-days of receipt of the invoice

(Medium, Large and Backbone members also receive discounts on most port fees for connections to the Internet exchanges operated by INX-ZA.)

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat at: queries@ispa.org.za or on 010 226 9516.

Code of Conduct compliance

In terms of ISPA’s Code of Conduct, new members of ISPA have 30 days from the date of acceptance of their membership application to become compliant with the ISPA Code of Conduct.

ISPA provides an online wizard to assist with this process, but prospective members must please note that several of the compliance requirements involve making documents (privacy policy, acceptable use policy, etc.) available on the member’s web site.

Thus, ISPA requires that organisations applying for membership must have a functioning web site when they submit their application for membership.

Apply for ISPA membership


You can apply for ISPA membership on the website at https://ispa.org.za/apply by clicking on the “apply online now” link to the left. However before you do so, please ensure that you have read the constitution and the membership application guidelines which explain the basic requirements for membership; the categories and fee structure.
Once you have completed the form, the application will be sent to ISPA’s membership working group for review and the management committee for approval. The process takes approximately 5 – 6 working days to complete.

Membership categories

There are five categories of ISPA membership:

  • Large
  • Medium
  • Small
  • Affiliate
  • Honorary

Voting members

Large, medium and small are all voting membership categories, while affiliate and honorary are special non-voting categories.
In order to qualify as a large, medium or small member, you must hold an ECS or ECNS licence, and/or be in the business of providing Internet access services.
Internet services include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Internet access providers (including Virtual Internet Access Providers [IAPs])
    [Test: Can a member of the public contact the company and obtain a price for Internet access (including Internet access bundled with VoIP)]
  • Server hosting companies
    [Test: Can a member of the public contact the company and obtain a price for the hosting of a physical server? (NOT a web site)]
  • Internet infrastructure providers
    [Test: Does the company provide equipment and ongoing services critical to the operation of the Internet in South Africa?]

Determination of membership categories
Applicants are free to determine their own membership category. ISPA provides the following suggested guidelines:

  • Large: A company that has its own direct link to a part of the Internet located outside of the African continent (usually the US).
  • Medium: A company that operates points-of presence in more than two South African provinces. Alternatively, a virtual access provider with more than 256kbps of bandwidth to its upstream network operator.
  • Small: Anyone else.

Non-voting members

Affiliate membership
The affiliate membership category allows persons and organisations in related fields to participate in ISPAs activities. Fees for this category of membership are the same as for the small member classification, but affiliates are non-voting and are not eligible for connectivity to the ISPA exchange.
The types of companies that this category includes:

  • Security solution providers
  • Cryptography providers
  • Internet consultants
  • Web development/content companies
  • E-Commerce solution providers
  • Internet training providers
  • Internet authentication and certification providers

Honorary membership
Honorary membership includes educational institutions, schools and non-profit organisations. The ISPA management committee bestows membership upon a selected body. No fees or voting rights apply.
International membership
Organisations situated in the southern African region may join the association and determine their own membership category. In addition to the benefits offered, being the same as those provided to all ISPAs members, international participants are also permitted to connect to the interconnection points. International members do not however qualify for voting rights. Fees will depend on the category selected and are no different to local subscriptions.

Fees

Membership fees

Category Fees
(inclusive of VAT, effective 1 April 2008)
Large R7 638.00 per month
Medium R1 938.00 per month
Small R 456.00 per month
(or R4 560.00 per annum)
Affiliate R 456.00 per month
(or R4 560.00 per annum)
Honorary R 0.00

Important to note:

  1. Membership fees are billed monthly or annually as an option for the small and affiliate members. Additional fees are charged for connection to JINX (refer below).
  2. In order to ensure the good will of applicants, all new members are requested to settle the first three months of their subscription fees in advance. Alternatively, members are welcome to sign a stop order.
  3. Suitable arrangements can be made with the accounts department by sending a message to accounts (at) ispa.org.za.

Code of Conduct

In terms of ISPAs Code of Conduct, there is a requirement for links to be implemented from the ISPs web site to the ISPAs site and Code. Thus a functioning web site is a prerequisite for new members. Applications should not be submitted until such as time as this obligation has been realised.