Press release: Regulatory Successes & Legal Wins Boost ISPA Membership
A string of regulatory and legal achievements in particular have buoyed confidence in the Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA) over the past two years, resulting in a healthy 41% growth in members to almost 150 large, medium and small Internet service and access providers.
The steady increase in ISPA membership can clearly be attributed to the Association’s solid track record of healthy engagement with a broad spectrum of role players. That ISPA’s efforts are bearing fruit is evident in the Minister’s recent decision to eliminate regulatory inhibitors in the market. Pricing has also become more market-related and globally competitive over the past decade.
“The key to continuing the growth of the organisation is retaining existing members and keeping them highly involved in industry issues. Genuine concern by industry players regarding issues such as privacy, consumer protection, skills training and local loop unbundling will ensure this industry association goes from strength to strength,” said Ant Brooks, ISPA’s General Manager.
ISPA’s battle against anti-competitive activities in the Internet market reached a positive climax with the Competition Tribunal’s June 2007 prohibition of Telkom’s attempted acquisition of BCX. ISPA was a key opponent of the BCX deal and yet today BCX remains an active member of the Association.
“Few industry associations offer as much value for money as ISPA does. With a pedigree stretching back to 1996, reasonable membership fees and impressive activity levels across several areas, ISPA’s ability to look after the interests of Internet service and access providers is unrivalled,” added Mr Brooks.
Regulatory successes notched up during an action-packed and productive 2007 include the flurry of discussion documents issued by ICASA (the Independent Communications Authority of SA) following input from ISPA. According to Mr Brooks, “Our smaller members in particular rest assured that ISPA will represent their interests even if they are unable to make their own representations to ICASA.”
As a well-rounded and involved industry player, ISPA is not only committed to serving the needs of its members, but also strives to make a positive difference to the broader community. In this regard, over 300 educators have completed computer literacy training during 2007 as part of ISPA’s nationwide teacher training programme.
Aside from conducting several industry workshops during the year, ISPA hosted the 6th annual iWeek conference and exhibition during September which again broke previous years’ attendance records. This year has also been one of constructive relationship-building with real attempts being made to forge a constructive and positive relationship with Telkom, in particular.
Mr Brooks also highlighted ISPA’s ongoing and regular collaboration with the Office for Interception Centres (OIC) established in terms of the Regulation of Interception of Communications & Provision of Communication-related Act
ISPA has historically served as an active industry body, facilitating exchange between the different independent Internet service providers, the Department of Communications, ICASA, operators and other service providers in South Africa.
ISPA membership is organised in five categories, namely Large, Medium, Small, Affiliate and Honorary. Applicants are free to determine their own membership category but ISPA provides guidelines in this regard on its website.
Applying for ISPA membership is as easy as logging onto https://ispa.org.za/apply. The basic requirements for membership as well as the categories and fee structure are clearly outlined under ISPA’s constitution. Applications are first assessed by ISPA’s membership working group and the management committee for approval. The process takes five to six working days.
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For further information, please contact the ISPA secretariat on the Contact ISPA page.