Internet Service Providers’ Association

The Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA), a not-for profit company with members, has been representing the interests of South Africa’s ISPs for nearly two decades. The association was established in June 1996 with the initial goal of ensuring a fair and competitive market for Internet services in South Africa. ISPA now has more than 170 members, representing a diverse range of services and target markets. As well as commercial and non-profit Internet service providers, members also include domain name service providers, educational networks, universities and wireless user groups.

Since its inception, ISPA has played a key role in the development of South Africa’s communications and Internet policies. Always an active participant in regulatory processes and policy debates, over the years ISPA has made submissions on dozens of Acts and hundreds of sets of regulations that have an impact on the Internet industry. As well as making contributions to policy and legislative processes, ISPA also provides ongoing support to its members, providing assistance with regulatory compliance and support.

ISPA founded the Johannesburg Internet exchange (JINX), in 1996. Additional exchanges are operated in Cape Town (CINX) and Durban (DINX). All three exchange points offer ISPs an easy and cost-effective mechanism to interconnect their networks. All ISPA members are bound by a Code of Conduct, and ISPA is a recognised Industry Representative Body as set-out in the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act.

In 2000, ISPA launched a social responsibility program targeting teachers from underprivileged schools for ICT training and support. More than three thousand teachers have benefited from this program so far. Now run in partnership with the Co.Za Cares Foundation, the Super Teacher project identifies educators who have excelled in the training programs, and who are passing on their skills to their communities. The achievements of these teachers are recognised each year, as part of iWeek.

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