On 30 May 1997, a few pioneers in the Internet sector met together simply with a view to interconnect with one another and, to this end, they set up the non-profit association ISPA Belgium (Internet Service Providers Association). Very quickly, the founding members recognised the need to expand the association’s actions as a discussion and meeting forum, enabling the various Internet players to come together to promote and defend the sector in Belgium.

As a forerunner in its field, the association decided to draw up of Code of Conduct (CoC) for players in the Internet sector, together with the IBPT and the Ministry of Justice. This code of conduct was approved by all the members at the general meeting held at the end of April 1998 and has been in force ever since. A number of European associations in the Internet sector and various organisations have drawn inspiration from this CoC.

With the growing influence of Europe, ISPA Belgium also decided to take an active part in setting up a European group with a view to federating the Internet sector in Europe. ISPA officially joined the new European Internet Service Providers Association (EuroISPA) in 1998.

In the context of the effective fight against unlawful information and acts on the Internet in Belgium, ISPA took its first steps on 28 May 1999 by signing the cooperation protocol with the public authorities. This joint regulation initiative was the result of a series of negotiations between ISPA and the Ministers of Justice and Telecommunications

Another of the tasks that ISPA set itself was the management of Belgian domain names, a mission undertaken until then by Professor Verbaeten at the KUL, the Catholic University of Leuven. ISPA quickly set up a working group to take over this task and, in 1998, decided to involve the users represented by Beltug. In early 1999, the Board of Directors decided to make contact with Fabrimetal (Agoria) so that the administrative body of the new non-profit association comprised at least three organisations. This was done and on 2 February 1999, the three organisations celebrated the creation of DNS Belgium.

Today, ISPA Belgium continues to be active in these various sectors of activities and acts as the contact point of the Internet industry in Belgium, aiming to fulfil the economic and social potential of the Internet.

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