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.
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.
|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).