Press release: ISPA Looks Back Over Successful & Productive 2014
South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has described 2014 as another productive year of successfully serving the interests of its 175 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and affiliate members, while also working to ensure fairness in the local Internet landscape.
Asked what was the stand-out positive event of last year when it came to looking out for the country’s Internet users, ISPA Chair Graham Beneke said 2014’s highlight definitely had to be the High Court confirming ISPA’s right to combat South African spammers through its Hall of Shame initiative.
Ketler Investments had applied to the High Court in 2012 to try to force ISPA to remove its name from the Hall of Shame, listing South African companies who send out spam. The court agreed with ISPA that Ketler Presentations had contravened section 45 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of 2002 through the sending of unsolicited commercial communications.
ISPA’s consumer protection mandate also found expression during 2014 in the Association’s support of ICASA’s intention to vigorously pursue the objective of more competitive markets. ISPA has continued to lobby for creating greater opportunities for competition in the wholesale mobile data market, arguing that this will boost Internet penetration by reducing the retail price of Internet access through mobile devices. Currently a large number of South Africans have access to these services but cannot afford to use them.
According to ISPA regulatory advisor, Dominic Cull: “Opening up wholesale opportunities for the resale of mobile data is the single intervention with the biggest potential impact on broadband penetration. It is the only way we will even get close to reach the target of providing 90% of South Africans with broadband access by 2020.”
Another highlight of 2014 for ISPA was the appointment of Mr Beneke to the National Broadband Advisory Council which is further evidence of ISPA’s multi-pronged approach to changing the South African Internet arena for the better. “Whether by submitting carefully-considered submissions to ICASA on a raft of issues, embarking on litigious courses of action for the benefit of the consumer, or participating in high-level think tanks, ISPA continues to do what it can to be a force for good when it comes to boosting South African Internet adoption,” said Mr Beneke, who commented at the time that his appointment represented a good opportunity for ISPA to provide an industry perspective as the country’s broadband policy is implemented.
ISPA continued to issue submissions to ICASA and others during 2014 in the hope of adding a measured voice to an often overheated industry. ISPA specifically called for the introduction of new regulations relating to Internet content regulation to be delayed until proper public consultation to create a legal and practical framework had taken place.
Finally, ISPA struck a positive tone with ICASA by welcoming its efforts to review the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations, while pointing out that some changes may be unnecessary while others will cause more problems than they will solve. ISPA also noted that the cost of compliance with revised regulations may not be matched by any practical benefits.
For further information, please contact the ISPA secretariat on the Contact ISPA page.