SA internet providers mark 20-year milestone

JOHANNESBURG , (CAJ News) – THE Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) is celebrating its 20 years of existence in the course of a significant growth in membership.

Monday marks two decades since five Internet Industry representatives David Frankel, Mark Todes, Jon Oliver, Steve Corkin, and Ant Brooks met at the offices of he The Internet Solution to form the ISPA.

When the formation of ISPA was announced to the press a few days later, nine of South Africa’s then fledgling ISPs were identified as the founder members: Internet Solution (IS), UUNet Internet Africa, Global One, PIX, Global Internet Access (GIA), LeClub Internet Access (LIA), Interlink, Planet Pinnacle and GEM Internet Company.

However, the networks of many of the other founding Internet Service Providers may still exist in some form. UUNet Internet Africa, for example, had numerous shareholder and name changes and eventually became MTN Business.

PIX, LIA and GEM were all acquired by MWeb, part of which was in turn later acquired by Internet Solutions.

By 2006, ISPA’s membership had grown to 113. In the ten years since then, it has continued to climb, and now stands at 176.

It has become more challenging for companies to qualify for membership in recent years.

In 2009, government recognised ISPA as an Industry Representative Body, which gave ISPA’s members special legal protections for third party traffic passing over their network.

Every year for the last fifteen years, ISPA, together with many partner organisations in the internet industry, has operated the iWeek conference.

This free conference is open to the public, and brings together industry,civil society representatives, government representatives and industry experts to debate industry developments, governance of the global Internet and new technologies.

iWeek XV takes place from September 19-23.

“ISPA is looking forward to celebrating its twenty-year anniversary and the fifteenth iWeek conference with the many Internet professionals who have helped build the South African Internet industry. We also hope to welcome to the event the entrepreneurs and Internet visionaries who will be building networks for the next twenty years,” the organisation stated.

CAJ News

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