Why is the Internet so sloooooowww!?!

Published June 10, 2008 by soren

The Internet has been a nightmare, ever since the start of the year.

We did see this coming in ICT, and we planned for this, we ordered a large bandwidth upgrade way back in October 2007.  But, since then, we’ve been at the mercy of our service providers who have let us down badly and in many ways.

Here’s the timeline of the whole story:

September 2007: Our current 2Mbps connection to the Internet is getting sluggish, and we are adding an additional 200+ seats in our student labs.  We plan for a 150% increase in our expenditure on Internet bandwidth.  TENET tells us to hold off on upgrading as the new GEN3 network will be rolled out to higher education sites in January.

October 2007: We place an order with TENET for an 8Mbps connection to the new GEN3 network.

January 2008: We’re still waiting.

February 2008: It seems that the new TENET GEN3 network will not be able to reach all sites as Neotel, who were awarded the Tender for supply of site and backbone network services, cannot provide service at our site (nor at several others).

The deadline of March 31, when the current GEN2 network solution provided by Telkom will be shutdown looms large.

February 2008: TENET reaches an agreement with Telkom to provide TI-DIS (TelkomInternet Direct Internet Service) service to TENET sites that cannot be reached by Neotel for the GEN3 network agreement.

March 31, 2008: The deadline for shutting down the GEN2 network passes.  We’re still connected to it.  Meanwhile, services such as the library, CAO and the TENET mirror service are now practically unusable as these are now on a different national network, and the speed of national traffic is severly limited for legacy reasons.

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  1. Sean says:

    esAL library services are really suffering. Is there any hope of Neotel ever connecting UniZulu onto the Gen3 network? It is incredibly fast for inter-institutional traffic, such as between DUT and MUT.

    Posted June 11, 2008 @ 9:34 am
  2. soren says:

    I don’t know when Neotel will be able to reach us — and it may be the case that we all get moved on to SANReN before then.

    In the interim, my plan is to get a GEN3 ADSL link and route traffic to the GEN3 network prefixes over that link. This will solve the esAL problems as we’ll have a 2Mbps down/384Kbps up link directly into the GEN3 core which will be more than enough for esAL and CAO (and mirror server and inter-institution traffic).

    The big headache is just getting the damn DSL line installed. We’ve been waiting for weeks, and the only notice I got was that our local Telkom customer rep has now taken a job with Neotel.

    Posted June 11, 2008 @ 3:44 pm

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