The fibre optic network in the eThekwini metropolitan area has been completed by Dark Fibre Africa.
This network is part of the SANReN project – which aims to connect research and tertiary sites around South Africa together on one ring network
The completion was announced at an event held on 5 October.
The network architecture consists of a national backbone connecting Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London on a 10Gbps ring network.
A second phase of the SANReN project is extending the backbone to more remote sites – including Polokwane, Grahamstown, Makhado and Mafeking.
By the end of 2012, a total of R783 million is expected to have been invested by the Department of Science and technology in the complete SANReN network rollout.
The rollout costs include installing the national backbone network; the metropolitan area networks; the backbone network extensions; connections to SALT (South African Large Telescope); connections to the SKA (Square Kilometre Array); as well as associated equipment costs.
According to Laurens Cloete, Acting Executive Director of the CSIR Meraka Institute, the Durban link cost an estimated R25 million and is approximately 80km in length.
It connects the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban University of Technology, CSIR, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Medical Research Council, UNISA and a number of other institutions.