Neotel is coming…and SANReN too!

Published August 29, 2008 by soren

I recently represented Unizulu at a meeting between KZN-region IT directors, TENET, SANReN (SA National Research and Education Network) and Neotel at Neotel’s Durban offices.

I’m sure you have all seen the trenches that have been dug recently in Mtunzini, Empangeni and along the R102, and the orange pipes.  Well, that’s Neotel’s new national fibre optic network being built.  And what’s important is that Neotel will be using the new SEACOM submarine cable to provide a large portion of their international connectivity.  And SEACOM will be landing in Mtunzini.

The upshot of this is that Unizulu is in a strategically advantaged location, approximately 20km from the SEACOM landing station, and that Neotel’s main fibre backbone is a “mere” 2km from our campus gates!

Neotel say they will be able to extend their fibre network to our campus within the near future (approximately 2 months) and provide us with “backhaul” connectivity to their network hub in Durban.

Once this is in place, we will change our current 2Mbps TelkomInternet connection for a 6Mbps TENET GEN3 connection via the Neotel fibre access.

This is good news, and will do a lot to alleviate our currently horribly congested Internet access, especially together with the additional bandwidth we are getting via the Zululand Wireless Network solution.

But this is only the start…

The real value of the Neotel access and also of the SEACOM cable is that Neotel will be providing the fibre access to the new SANReN network that is due to be commissioned in 2009.  A 10Gbps slice of SEACOM has been set aside for SANReN’s international connectivity — this will be an approximately 30-fold increase over the current 300Mbps that is available to higher education sites via the TENET GEN3 network.

Unizulu has committed to funding a 200Mbps slice of the SEACOM bandwidth for SANReN, at which stage we will have approximately 100x the capacity we currently have.

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