The South African chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-ZA) has reacted to Vodacom's launch of a moble Internet service last week with a strongly-worded statement of condemnation, claiming the new services could actually degrade the Internet experience currently enjoyed by mobile users.
"Vodacom claimed to revolutionise Internet on the cellphone," reads the ISOC-ZA statement. "They claimed that millions of Vodacom customers now (effectively) have the same experience of the Internet on their cellphones as they do on a PC.
"In reality Vodacom have broken the Internet for these millions of customers. This came without any warning and ISOC-ZA is united against this sort of behaviour."
According to ISCO-ZA, a number of applications that include instant messaging, banking, specialised mobile applications such as email, Youtube, Twitter, Fring and at least a dozen others, are no longer working since the advent of Vodacom's service.
"In technical terms, Vodacom installed a proxy service that was not sufficiently tested," says the statement.
"The technology that Vodacom is using is not standards compliant and, considering Vodacom's position as a dominant ISP, it should behave in a more responsible fashion.
"Furthermore, some of our members have claimed that Vodacom block many applications that it feels may threaten its business. While we have no direct evidence of this, we appeal to Vodacom to disclose what it blocks and intercepts on its networks."
The statement goes on to advise users how to bypass the new Vodacom changes.