‘ISP industry became far too compliant’

David Frankel, the first ISPA chairman, said that he felt the industry had become far too complaint.

“The industry still hasn’t pushed the boundaries near enough, we have probably listened to the Regulator too much,” stated Frankel during his presentation at the iWeek Conference recently. He stated that the industry needed to push the envelope in a way that people would look back and see it as beneficial.

His fellow speaker, Mark Todes, another ex-ISPA member, implored ISPs to, “not get bogged down by the stasis that exists when decisions need to be made.”

ISPs must fight hard

Frankel alluded to ISPA’s early days when the fight against Telkom was virulent. Telkom challenged ISPA’s right to exist in court and part of the success of the court case for ISPA was the presentation of evidence that Telkom were fighting dirty.

ISPA presented evidence that SAIX gave instructions to engineers that when lines were put in for competitors they should divert the line to Telkom.

Frankel stated that one of the current challenges he sees in the industry is for ISPs to fight clean but to also fight hard.

ISPA must lobby

One of the ways for ISPA to fight hard and clean is to get more involved in lobbying for better broadband services.

Both Frankel and Todes stated that ISPA should once more be at the forefront of lobbying hard to improve the industry.

“This is your industry and you need to get involved. We don’t have to tolerate monopolies and duopolies, the technologies allow us to go ahead of the curve,” said Frankel.

Todes added that ISPs must do their best to motivate government out of their stasis and into action.

“I despair when here things from the deputy minister like ‘we are waiting for a report to come in before we can decide what needs to be done about SAT3’. ISPA must lobby government out of stasis,” said Todes.

It seems that service providers, whether big or small, will have to tighten the belts as the margin for profit in the telecoms field decreases globally.

But the good news from Frankel and Todes is that the industry is an exciting and dynamic one, and that the winners in this industry will be the ones who have really pushed the boundaries and fought hard.

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‘ISP industry became far too compliant’