Press release: Why choose an ISPA member as your service provider?

Published on: 2009-11-02

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Choosing a member of the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) as your service provider gives you the peace of mind of knowing that the service provider you are working with subscribes to a Code of Conduct.

ISPA is an Internet industry body representing over 150 small, medium and large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in South Africa. Although the organisation has traditionally served the interests of ISPs, it is also committed to growing and developing the Internet in South Africa and looking after the best interests of Internet users.

In addition, the Association has been officially recognised as an Industry Representative Body by the Department of Communications.

To that end, it focuses heavily on educating consumers about the conduct they should expect from their service providers. Confidence among Internet users that service providers are responsible and ethical is key to the growth of South Africa’s Internet sector, in ISPA’s view.

The ISPA Code of Conduct lays down stringent guidelines for the ethics and behaviour expected from members.

To highlight a few clauses from the Code of Conduct, ISPA expects its members to:

  • Respect the constitutional right of Internet users to personal privacy and privacy of communications. Respect the confidentiality of customers’ personal information and electronic communications. They may not gather, retain, sell or distribute this information to any other party without the written consent of the customer unless required to do so by law.
  • Have prominent links to ISPA’s Code of Conduct on their websites and include Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) documents on their websites.
  • Refrain from sending unsolicited bulk email and take reasonable measures to ensure that their networks are not used by others for spamming. They must also provide a facility for dealing with complaints about spam originating from their networks.
  • Provide clear and accurate pricing information to current and potential customers. Take all reasonable measures to prevent unauthorised access to, interception of, or interference with any data on their networks and under their control.
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that they do not offer paid content subscription services to minors without written permission from a parent or guardian.

According to the ISPA Code of Conduct, your service provider must receive investigate any complaint made in accordance with this Code of Conduct, unless the complaint is frivolous, unreasonable, vexatious or in bad faith.

ISPA takes a proactive stance, regularly auditing the compliance of its members with the Code and conducting spot checks. It may investigate complaints on its own initiative and discipline members that have violated any of the Code’s clauses.

Further Information

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