CSIR Meraka Institute today announced that it has completed the next phase of the South African National Research Network (SANReN), offering institutions connection speeds between 1Gbps and 10Gbps.
SANReN, in collaboration with Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa (TENET), interconnects research and higher education institutions in South Africa to each other and the Internet.
Access to the network greatly increases bandwidth at these institutions with the minimum connection speed being 1Gbps, and the maximum, 10Gbps.
SANReN also connects the SKA site in Carnavon in the Northern Cape to the network, and has been key in enabling South African researchers to participate meaningfully in global scientific experiments.
Rural and previously historically disadvantaged universities were on the wrong side of the Internet digital divide. The focus and importance of this phase of SANReN backbone rollout was to complete connectivity to such rural and remotely located higher education institutions (HEIs).
The net result is that all public HEIs in South Africa now benefit from SANReN connectivity. The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) made an additional R28 million available via HESA (Higher Education South Africa) and TENET which has also contributed towards this goal.
The backbone extension links are provided by Dark Fibre Africa, Neotel and Telkom SA.
TENET secured wireless access links from Comsol that connect certain campuses to backbone nodes.
The backbone extensions and new access circuits connect campuses in Polokwane, Makhado, Thohoyandou, Mbombela, Middelburg (Mpumalanga), eMalahleni, Rustenburg, Mahikeng, Potchefstroom, Welkom, Kimberley, Pietermaritzburg, Grahamstown, Alice, Bisho, Butterworth and Mthatha. The total cost of the extensions is approximately R124 million.
To date, 139 campuses of higher education and research institutions derive benefit from SANReN.
DST via the CSIR will continue to upgrade the network to ensure that it meets the needs of its users.
It will extend the network even further to ensure that every university or research campus in the country has fast Internet access, and will continue to support the efforts of the research and higher education sectors to improve the lives of South Africans.