The Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) says it “notes with considerable concern” recent developments relating to a legal dispute between Afrinic and Cloud Innovation, one consequence of which is the freezing of Afrinic’s bank account.

The ISPA is a non-profit company representing the interests of more than 200 Internet service providers (ISPs) operating in South Africa. The majority of ISPA’s members are holders of Internet resources administered by Afrinic, the regional Internet registry for the African continent. All of ISPA’s members, and indeed all South African Internet users, rely on the resources administered by Afrinic to be able to connect to the Internet and to conduct business online.

In a statement, ISPA says that since the matter is now subject to judicial proceedings, it falls to Mauritian courts to ensure the swift resolution of the situation and that this legal process must be allowed to run its course.

“However, ISPA wishes to place on record the importance of allowing Afrinic to continue to fulfill its role as the sole delegated administrator of critical Internet resources for the African region while the legal process goes ahead. We urge all parties to the litigation and the relevant legal authorities to take into consideration the potential impact on Internet companies and Internet users in Africa should Afrinic be unable to continue to perform its functions for any reason.

“ISPA notes with thanks the recent statement made by Mr Eddy Kayihura, Afrinic’s CEO, reassuring members of the Afrinic community that recent developments will not have any immediate impact on AFRINIC’s operations,” the company says. “We encourage the Afrinic Board to continue supporting the CEO’s efforts to communicate openly and transparently with the community.

“A stable, reliable, and efficient regional Internet registry that engages with the community in an honest and transparent manner is in the best interests of all African Internet users. ISPA hopes that any litigation that threatens this can be swiftly resolved, so that Afrinic can continue to provide services to its members, Internet resource holders and the broader community.”