South African University Internet speed shootout

Over the last few years SANReN, in collaboration with the Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa (TENET), connected most South African universities to its fibre backbone at 10Gbps.

These high-speed connections mean that South African students experience excellent Internet speeds on campus.

Many real-world speed tests show performance of well above 100Mbps. This is much higher than the peak speeds of most residential and business connections.

However, not all universities and campuses are equal, notably so when looking at international bandwidth.

This article provides an overview of the Internet connection speeds of South Africa’s largest universities.

Local university connectivity

TENET executive Geoff Hoy explained that most prominent South African universities have 10Gbps last-mile connections.

“We call this national bandwidth and we are connected to JINX, CINX, and NapAfrica peer points in Johannesburg and Cape Town,” said Hoy.

Hoy said all traffic served via Google and Akamai is local traffic, providing students with a great experience from these platforms.

Sanren network
Sanren network

International connectivity

International bandwidth, which is provisioned over Seacom and WACS, is the biggest differentiator when looking at local universities’ Internet speeds.

The University of Cape Town main campus is the international bandwidth leader at 1.5Gbps.

UCT is followed by Stellenbosch University’s main campus with 956Mbps, and NWU’s main campus with 696Mbps.

The following table provides an overview of the Internet connectivity speeds of South African universities.

Local connectivity
International connectivity
University of Cape Town (UCT) 10Gbps 1,500Mbps
University of Stellenbosch (Maties) 10Gbps 956Mbps
North-West University (NWU) 10Gbps 696Mbps
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) 10Gbps 630Mbps
University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) 10Gbps 589Mbps
University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) 10Gbps 483Mbps
University of Johannesburg (UJ) 10Gbps 447Mbps
University of Pretoria (TUKS) 10Gbps 405Mbps
University of the Western Cape (UWC) 10Gbps 340Mbps
Rhodes University (RU) 10Gbps 330Mbps
University of the Free State (UFS) 10Gbps 170Mbps
University of South Africa (UNISA) 10Gbps 153Mbps
University of Fort Hare (UFH) 1Gbps 51Mbps

Real-world university speeds

South African university students and lecturers assisted with some speed tests to show their real-world Internet speeds (you can post your speed test results here).

University Internet speeds
University Internet speeds

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South African University Internet speed shootout