SCRIPTION PRIZE – ISPA presents the Internet Student Paper Award

SCRIPTION PRIZE – ISPA presents the Internet Student Paper Award

Have you written an undergraduate or graduate thesis on a topic related to the Internet this academic year? Is this still fresh in your mind?

Then find your pen again and compete for the ISPAward!

What is it?

This prize is awarded every year by ISPA, the association representing the Belgian Internet industry. Grab your chance to show your business card to the sector and who knows, maybe you will go home with €500.

How do I participate?

Send a paper of maximum 2,500 words, in English, French or Dutch, based on your thesis or bachelor’s thesis to . The paper should be related to content moderation, data protection, privacy or emerging technologies or any other internet related topic.

Ok, by when?

The deadline is Friday the 17th of March, 2023.

And what exactly is ISPA?

ISPA Belgium brings together the entire ecosystem of the internet industry in Belgium and includes companies that make the internet work, such as access providers, hosters, transit providers, data centers and platforms.

The association ensures that the voice of the Internet community is heard and understood by policymakers and the general public, to enable the creation of digital-friendly, future oriented and coherent policies in Belgium.

Internet Student Paper Award – abstract of the winning paper

Internet Student Paper Award – abstract of the winning paper

Loni Riskin receives her ISPAward from Henri-Jean Pollet, president of ISPA Belgium.


Doping control and data protection might seem topics not that closely related to each other. However, the GDPR applies to a large part of the data processing taking place in the anti-doping process. A lot of sensitive data is being processed in the context of doping control. Yet, WADA’s World Anti-Doping Code (WADC), applied by more than 700 sport organizations, still falls short in terms of GDPR compatibility.

A legal analysis of the GDPR and WADC has shown several points of conflict. For example, the WADC defines different grounds based on which sensitive data can be processed, such as explicit consent. However, the GDPR requires that when information is processed based on explicit consent, this consent needs to be ‘freely given’. Yet, if an athlete does not want to provide their consent, the WADC prescribes harsh sanctions and negative consequences for the athlete. It is therefore hard to classify this consent as ‘freely given’, since athletes could feel obliged to give consent.

Furthermore, WADA requires the automatic and mandatory publication on the internet of all anti-doping violations, including the name of the athlete and the sanctions imposed, for a period of at least one month. This however does not seem to be conform the GDPR’s proportionality principle. WADA sees this publication as necessary for athletes to not take on another role in sport, but less intrusive measures such as a certificate of good conduct, which these athletes wouldn’t be able to provide, can fulfill this role.

These are just a few examples, but they show that a more far-reaching adaptation of the WADA documents to the GDPR remains desirable. However, even though they agree with some adjustments, interviews with athletes, coaches and sport federations have shown that they think it is good that some anti-doping rules are so intrusive, since it scares off other athletes to take doping. They fear that if the current measures are adjusted to be more GDPR-compliant, this will lower the threshold to doping violations and make doping controls more difficult. So while this research answered a lot of questions, the question still arises of how to find measures that are both more in line with the GDPR and considers the comments made by athletes and sports federations.

ISPAwards 2022

ISPAwards 2022

After the long covid pandemic, ISPA is delighted to announce its next real life event: the ISPA Awards. On the 17th of  May, the annual ISPAward will be presented to the deserving winner, Loni Riskin, who unanimously convinced the jury members with her research on data privacy and the fight against doping in professional sport events.

Loni will present her research during a brief introduction, after which she will receive a cheque worth €1000. For our members, this award ceremony is the perfect moment to meet again after a long wait. For more information about this event, or to confirm your attendance, please send a mail to

Dissertation prize – the 4th Internet Student Paper Award

Compete for the I.S.P.A.!

Have you written a dissertation on an Internet-related topic? Have you developed a revolutionary piece on Internet technology? Have you done in-depth research on a critical legal aspect? Have you reflected on the challenges of Internet governance? Then do not hesitate to compete for the Internet Student Paper Award, or I.S.P.A.!

Why participate?

  • An opportunity to impress the Belgian Internet sector with your research
  • The winning dissertation will be published on our website
  • The laureate receives €1000

How can I participate?

Summarise your findings in an attractive and accessible article of maximum 2500 words. Feel free to add some pictures and graphs. Send your summary and your dissertation to on September 30th, 2019 at the latest.

What is ISPA?

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) brings together not only access and service providers but also hosting and transit providers in Belgium. ISPA aims to serve as a rallying point for the Internet industry so as to ensure that the potential of the Internet is used to the full, from the point of view of both consumers and professionals.


The  rules and regulation can be accessed here.
Should you have any further questions,do not hesitate to contact us at

Market Survey 74 – 2018

The total number of active Internet connections in Belgium was 4.382.123 connections during the fourth quarter of 2018. An increase of 2.22 % over the last year and 0.74 % since the third quarter of 2018.     

The total number of active internet connections in Belgium was 4.382.123 during the fourth quarter of 2018. This represents an increase of 2.22 % compared to Q4 2017. During the third quarter of 2018, the total number of active internet connections in Belgium was 4.349.988. An increase of 2.45 % over the last year. During the first and second quarter there were respectively 4.306.209 and 4.348.483 internet connections in Belgium.

In the fourth quarter, the number of residential connections grew to a total of 3.950.853 connections in Belgium. This represents an increase of 2.07 % in comparison with the same period in 2017 and of 0.56  % compared to the third quarter of 2018. In the first quarter of 2018, there were 3.889.264 residential connections.

In the business market, the number of internet connections has increased with 15.090 lines to 431.270 lines, which represents an increase of 3.63 % compared with Q4 of 2017 and 2.39 % compared to Q3 2018. The first quarter of 2018 counted 416.945 business connections.

In the fourth quarter of 2018 there is a net growth of 95.340 connections compared to last year. The total number of active internet connections in Belgium reached a total of 4.382.123 and represents an increase of 2.22 % compared to Q4 of 2017.