The Meraka Institute of the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and the Department of Science and Technology has officially announced the completion and commissioning of the R36 million Tshwane fibre optic network.
This network forms part of the South African National Research Network (SANReN) – a high speed network that aims to connect more than 200 research and tertiary sites around the country with one another as well as with international research and education organisations around the globe.
SANReN Tshwane fibre optic network
SANReN Tshwane fibre optic network was completed in March 2011, and has shown a significant improvement in connectivity to research and academic institutions in the area.
Institutions such as the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), the University of Pretoria (UP) and UNISA upped their daily usage to hundreds of Mbps instead of the previous tens of Mbps.
These institutions’ Internet speeds often peak at multiple Gbps, clearly showing that the new SANReN means that their wide area network is no longer the bottleneck.
The 245 kilometre Pretoria link constitutes a dark fibre network installed by Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), who was awarded the contract for this part of the SANReN network.
The Tshwane link connects a number of institutions, including the CSIR, UNISA, the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, HSRC, Waterkloof Air Force Base, the SA Weather Bureau, the Innovation Hub, the University of Pretoria (UP) including UP Onderstepoort and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).
By the end of 2012 a total of R787 million is expected to have been invested in the national SANReN network roll out which includes the national backbone network, metropolitan area networks, backbone network extensions, connections to SALT (South African Large Telescope) and SKA (Square Kilometre Array) sites, and associated equipment costs.
The overall network architecture consists of a national backbone connecting Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London on a 10Gbps (Gigabits per second) ring network.