The Malta Communications Authority (MCA), together with the Internet Service Providers (ISP) Sub-Section of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, today launched the first ISP Code of Practice.
The objective of the Code is to enhance and maintain a high standard of ethical and professional practice within the ISP community. Furthermore, the Code also encourages and stimulates the use of the Internet by reassuring subscribers of a certain standard of service, data privacy, adequate levels of service quality and by outlining a means of redress in the eventuality of dispute. Speaking at the launch of the ISP Code of Practice, MCA Chairman Mr Joseph V. Tabone said that, “the internet is a fundamental service for Malta. As initiatives, such as e-commerce and e-government are promoted, it is the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that will have to act as a bridge between the content or service originators and the end users. For these initiatives to succeed therefore it is imperative that the ISPs provide services that are reliable, easily accessible and reasonably priced.” Mr Tabone added that, “the internet today places local operations in a global context.. Non-adherence to international norms and regulations does not only shake consumer confidence and disrupt business and personal communications but can also deal a serious blow to potential e-commerce initiatives and can irrevocably damage our national image overseas.” In his address MCA’s Chief Technical Officer, Mr Colin Camilleri said that, “Although the internet market locally is relatively small, there are still many opportunities for vertical and horizontal expansion. This means that there is scope for new investment, enhancement of the present systems and development of new and innovative systems.” Mr Camilleri added that “the launch of new projects, such as e-government and ‘bridging the digital divide’, will help to make internet more accessible to a larger section of the population, while at the same time becoming an integral part of our lifestyle. This also means that the public will need to update and educate itself further so as to be in a position to distinguish between a good and a better service or that the service he has been given is tailored to his needs. Today, the choice of a particular internet service should be based, not solely on price, but on quality and speed, value for money, technical competence and impeccable customer service.” Mr Philip Cassar, chairman of the ISP Sub-Section of the Chamber of Commerce said that "the ISPSS welcomes the publication of the final version of the Code of Practice to enhance its business further. The ISPSS, in close liaison with the Malta Communications Authority, has been drafting this Code for the last months and has now adopted the Code of Practice for the Members of the Section itself. The ISPSS members, who have adopted this Code of Practice, have devised procedures for submission of complaints and identified the methods for a fair and satisfactory resolution of these complaints. Mr Cassar added that “the Internet is an important communication medium as well as a rich source of information, education and entertainment. However, recent initiatives are promoting the internet uptake for other applications, particularly for purposes of e-commerce and e-government. It is thus very important that the user is provided with further reassurance that his ISP is committing himself to provide a reliable and secure service.” The ISPSS is the Sub-Section of the ITTS of the Malta Chamber of Commerce. The Sub-Section was formed six years ago, and today its members include nine of the top operating ISPs in Malta. These include: Euroweb, Kemmunet, Keyworld, Maltanet, Nextgen, Telemail, Video-on-Line, Waldonet and Webwaves. The Code of Practice may be viewed either on any of these ISPs’ websites or on the MCA’s website.