Press release: ISPA’S Recommendations for choosing an ISP

Published on: 2006-11-17

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The Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) is an Internet industry body representing almost 120 small, medium and large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in South Africa.

Although ISPA has historically served the interests of ISPs, its commitment to the growth and development of the Internet in South Africa means that it is also committed to educating the South African Internet consumer.

This consumer education focus recognises that consumers will only take to the Internet in meaningful numbers if they feel confident that their best interests are being protected by responsible operators.

In this regard, ISPA recommends that consumers choose an ISP meeting all of the criteria below:

  • Responsible ISPs have privacy policies which clearly state how, if at all, subscribers’ data will be used or distributed and under what circumstances.
  • Responsible ISPs comply with the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communications-related Information Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act.
  • Responsible ISPs have prominent links to ISPA’s Code of Conduct on their websites and include Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) documents on their websites.
  • Responsible ISPs protect minors and provide links to information regarding filtering software and content labelling systems. They further take reasonable steps to ensure that they do not offer paid content subscription services to minors without written permission from a parent or guardian.
  • Responsible ISPs clearly and accurately convey pricing information to current and potential customers.
  • Responsible ISPs do not send or promote the sending of unsolicited bulk email (“spam”) and take reasonable measures to ensure that their networks are not used by others for this purpose. They further provide a facility for dealing with complaints regarding unsolicited bulk email originating from their networks.

Obviously, if a particular ISP does not provide some of the services contemplated above, the relevant criteria would not need to be met.

The potential impact on one’s everyday life means that one’s choice of ISP should not be taken lightly and should deserve the same consideration as when choosing a bank or insurance company.

Further Information

For further information, please contact the ISPA secretariat on the Contact ISPA page.