Old/Expired website for the Internet Service Providers' Association

ispa contact address
Tel: 27.11.314.7751
Fax: 086.606.4066
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Why Join ISPA?

Definition of the Internet

The Internet is a network of over 200 000 networks worldwide owned by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecommunication companies, educational institutions, governments and individuals. All of these networks have agreed to interconnect with each other and to exchange traffic, to use TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) to do so and to follow a common set of standards known as the RFCs (Requests for Comments).

Ten reasons for joining ISPA:

  1. ISPA is a proactive body representing the interests of its members and works for the common good of the industry as a whole.
  2. ISPA maintains excellent relationships with the relevant authorities ensuring that the implementation of the many regulatory requirements, on behalf of its members, is dealt with as quickly and efficiently as is feasible.
  3. ISPA uses its credible reputation and expertise to negotiate with the appropriate governmental bodies for equitable solutions for its members.
  4. ISPA develops and provides members with legal information, advisories, assistance and research results, saving members time, money and resources.
  5. ISPA members abide by a Code of Conduct indicating to customers that these ISPs conduct their businesses according to ethical principles.
  6. ISPA members are through the general meetings and many workshops held throughout the year afforded the opportunity to discuss, express opinions and vote, thereby offering a democratic platform in which to deal with industry-related issues.
  7. ISPA members are encouraged to join one of the many working groups to contribute to the associations initiatives and activities.
  8. ISPA has a dedicated Secretariat to assist with queries and to keep members informed on all relevant issues.
  9. Members have access to the Johannesburg Internet Exchange (JINX), which encourages the local routing of Internet traffic not destined for international locations, thereby saving on costs.
  10. Members are provided with an opportunity to either sponsor or contribute in some way to the highly successful joint ISPA/UniForum SA Train the Teacher social development initiative.

Apply for membership here.

Key Milestones & Victories for ISPA

About ISPA

ISPA and the Internet industry

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) is a South African Internet industry body not for gain. ISPA is a voluntary organisation, representing the interests of its members.

Established on 6 June 1996, the association currently represents 130 (as of May 2007) Internet Service Providers with a diverse range of services and target markets. Significantly the number of ISPA members increases almost on a monthly basis.

ISPA is represented by a management committee made up of ISPA members, elected by members at the annual general meeting.

ISPA is entirely funded by the members. A website is maintained at where a list of the members can be found.

Regulatory representation, advice and support

ISPA has influenced and shaped telecommunications policy in South Africa since its formation in 1996. The association has provided submissions and feedback to such key pieces of legislation as the Telecommunications Amendment Act, the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, the Electronic Communications Act, the ICASA Amendment Act, the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communicated-related Information Act as well as various other associated regulations. ISPA encourages members to participate in discussions relating to policy issues and has a very active regulatory submissions working group as well as a working group that deals with competition issues.

Over the years, ISPA has developed good working relationships with many governmental bodies, including the Department of Communications, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, the Film and Publications Board and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications. Members benefit significantly from these relationships.

ISPA regularly produces advisories for its members on important issues, such as licensing and wireless Internet access. Members of the association also have access to ISPA's regulatory advisors, who are more than willing to assist with regulatory queries and questions.

Code of Conduct

All ISPA members are bound by the Association's Code of Conduct. This Code requires all members to meet certain standards in terms of privacy, consumer protection, spam and protection of minors. Membership of ISPA indicates to your customers that your company takes these issues seriously.

Take-down notification

The Electronic Communications Act provides significant immunity from liability to Internet Service Providers for content that is hosted on, or transited through, their network. In order to qualify for these benefits, ISPs must have a process in place for handling take-down notifications, and must also be a member of a recognised industry body.

The ISPA has implemented a take-down notification procedure, which can be used by all of its members. It has also approached the Department of Communications for recognition as an industry body.

Internet exchanges

The ISPA runs the Johannesburg Internet exchange (JINX). This exchange allows ISPA members to interconnect their networks in a cost-effective manner and helps to keep South African Internet traffic in South Africa, instead of using more expensive international connections.

Information on JINX can be found at:


ISPA holds general meetings once every quarter, and runs a number of workshops during the year to deal with issues and concerns either raised by the members or of relevance to the industry. An annual iWeek conference is held, usually in September.

Membership of ISPA provides your company with free access to all of these events.

The association also runs a travel subsidy program, to encourage members located outside of Gauteng to attend the annual conference. This subsidy typically covers half of the travel costs for members situated in other regions.

Social development initiatives

The Internet industry believes that it should give back to the community at large. Currently, many SA Internet access providers provide pricing breaks on school connectivity or donate free dial-up or leased circuits to educational institutions and other non-profit organisations.

The ISPA is committed to the growth of ICTs in South Africa and in conjunction with UniForum SA (the registrar) and various other players runs a successful Train the Teachers program.

Information on this program can be found at:

Global associations

ISPAs relationships with other Internet bodies ensure that members are kept up to date with the latest trends affecting the Internet:

    AfrISPA is a continental association of African ISP associations. ISPA is a founding member of AfrISPA.
    EuroISPA is the pan-European association of the ISP associations of the countries.
    ISPA, one of the founding members of the International Internet Industry Alliance (IIIA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2007 with Internet associations in Australia, North America and Africa. The MoU establishes a basis for the individual national and regional bodies to share information and work together as appropriate to the benefit of the Internet industry globally.

Networking and contacts

The association runs many mailing lists and has numerous special interest working groups. Members are encouraged to participate in one or more of these working groups and to subscribe to the relevant mailing lists.

Feedback from current members is that the opportunity to meet and network with other members at ISPA events is very valuable. ISPA fosters co-operation between members, providing new members with a valuable support structure to use for questions or problems.


ISPA supports industry research when financially viable and the survey documents are made available to members at a reduced cost.

Contact Us

ISPA Secretariat:
Tel: +27.11.314.7751
Fax: 086.606.4066
queries (at)
PO Box 3423



iWeek 2009

iWeek 2009 conference and exhibition,
Bryanston, Johannesburg,
2-4 September 2009.

Please contact ISPA for sponsorship and exhibition queries:
iweek (at)

Report Internet child pornography to the Film and Publication Board's hotline or the SAPS. More info here