ISPA's Industry Role
Since its inception in 1995, ISPA has been at the forefront of industry efforts to promote competition, innovation, self-regulation and the positive development of the Internet industry. The ways in which ISPA has fostered a better online environment for users include:
Code of Practice
ISPA came up with the first ISP code of practice, one that is updated regularly and serves as a model for other national ISPAs. Compliance with the ISPA UK Code of Practice is mandatory for all ISPA members and is viewed as a mark of good business practice. The Code is regularly updated and covers issues like consumer complaints, data protection and service quality. To promote best practice, the Code, for instance, states that all members must have a single point of contact for complaints and must provide a contact with the Internet Watch Foundation. ISPA membership also includes free membership of Ombudsman Services, one of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Schemes, which adjudicates on consumer complaints.
Internet Watch Foundation
ISPA was instrumental in founding the Internet Watch Foundation, the UK hotline for reporting illegal online content, in 1997 and holds permanent membership. As one of the many funding organisations of the IWF, along with many other ISPA members, ISPA sits on the funding council. The success of the IWF and self-regulation has seen the amount of child abuse images hosted in the UK fall from 18% in 1997 to less than 0.1%.
EuroISPA, the pan-European association of ISPAs, was founded in 1997 with ISPA UK playing an important part in its creation. EuroISPA represents the European ISP industry on EU policy and legislative and facilitates the exchange of best practice between national associations. As more and more policy originates from Brussels, the work of EuroISPA has become more and more vital.
Best Common Practice Guidance & Backgrounders
ISPA and its members have drafted several Best Common Practice documents. BCPs are non-binding recommendations that ISPA produces to help inform members and consumers. ISPA also produces backgrounders on a variety of areas - including cookies and choosing an ISP - to inform Internet users of key issues.
Work with Government & Parliamentarians
ISPA and its members contribute to a variety of Government and parliamentary initiatives and are regularly approached by Government for help and advice and to effect better policy. ISPA represents the views of members, bringing together officials, parliamentarians and industry to effect better policy. This includes face-to-face meetings, responding to consultations, participating in parliamentary committees, organising events and fora and taking part in roundtable discussions.