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What is TENET?

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

On 19 March campus practically came to a standstill when our internet service provider TENET experienced problems due to load-shedding. The issue stemmed from a failed generator at UCT and many students and staff were confused as to why we were impacted by something that happened at UCT. 

What is TENET?

“TENET” is the short name for the Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa NPC. Its main purpose is to secure, for the benefit of South African universities and associated research and support institutions, Internet and Information Technology services. 

All public universities and science councils qualify to participate in TENET’s governance as members and currently, TENET provides Internet and related services to more than 300 campuses of 85 institutions. These campuses are connected via high-speed access circuits, and multiple smaller sites via ADSL lines and a shared connection between Telkom’s ADSL network and the TENET gateway in Johannesburg.

The core of the NREN network that TENET operates is the South African National Research Network (“SANReN”) that has been deployed over the past ten years by the Meraka Institute of the CSIR under contract to the Department of Science and Technology (DST). SANReN comprises a national backbone, multiple metropolitan rings, and extensive long-haul circuits to reach important research installations. (More detail on the metropolitan rings and also the Cape Town metropolitan ring in particular.)

For international connectivity TENET uses multiple submarine circuits: 

60 Gb/s on the SEACOM submarine cable that terminates at the SEACOM Landing Station at Mtunzini (and is extended from there redundantly to the SANReN backbone node at Durban), and at TENET router in Amsterdam; and

50 Gb/s on the WACS submarine cable that terminates at the SANReN backbone node in Cape Town and at TENET’s router at Telecity, London. 

If you are interested in the bigger picture and want to know what South Africa’s Internet actually looks like, MyBroadband has a handy and detailed explanation.

[SOURCE: www.tenet.]


Lower internet rates and faster internet

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Thanks to the University’s collaboration with SANREN and the implementation of the new Fortigate firewall, users on campus can now look forward to lower internet rates and faster, more stable internet. Both these projects were necessary if one takes into consideration that the university’s bandwidth usage doubled each year for the past 8 years. In spite of the increase in usage, rates were never increased.



Tariff A @R0.02/MB: Monday-Friday: 08h00-23h59

Tariff B @ R0.01/MB : Monday-Friday: 00h00-07h59, as well as Saturdays and Sundays


Take note that the relevant tariff is determined by the day and time the download process was completed.

•Example 1: If you start downloading a file of 3 MB at 16:55 on Monday and the download is completed at 17:10 (Monday), the tariff for Monday 17:10 will apply.

•Example 2: If the same file is downloaded from Monday 07:55 to Monday 08:10, the tariff for Monday 08:10 will apply.



Access to Library e-resources changing shortly

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Until now free internet access to the US Library Services’ subscription based electronic resources were managed by a setting in users’ browsers.

This setting, known as the PAC file, consists of a list of the electronic resources the library provides free internet access to. It mainly consists of agent and subscription e-resources, although, in some cases, exceptions were made to make subject specific resources available for free. Due to the ongoing decrease in internet costs this privilege will be suspended from 1 July 2012.

Due to the increase of e-resources on the internet, as well as the recent upgrade of the campus firewall and SANReN connection, the browser setting is no longer a practical method to gain access to free internet. In future free access to e-resources will only be available on the library’s website. Users can create new bookmarks from the Library’s e-database list  in their browsers if they still need access.

This new method is applicable to desktop computers, as well as laptops on and off campus. From July 2012 users no longer have to change the configuration of their browser on their laptops when they switch between working at home or the office.

Take note that you do need to use your Inetkey at all times for access to these free e-resources when working on the campus network.

These changes will be applicable from 1 July 2012.

Article supplied by Wouter Klapwijk, Information Technology, Library and Information Service

Free access to selected websites

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Unfortunately Facebook and Twitter don’t fall into this category! However, in future, you will have free internet access to selected sites connected via the SANREN network.

One of the main objectives of SANREN is to promote research and improve communication for research at tertiary institutions. If you work closely with other institutions connected to this network, you can now access the http, https and ftp versions of the sites below for free –



In addition to this, you can also request free access to other sites you need for academic and research purposes. Therefore, if you need to access a site regularly for work, let us know by sending an email to


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