At 5:35PM on Tuesday, 9th October the University was finally directly connected to the South African National Research Network (SANReN). The immediate impact of this change is that we've doubled existing Internet quotas.

SANReN is a project of the Department of Science and Technology, and aims to provide South African universities and research councils with world-class Internet access. As part of its Eastern Cape expansion, the SANReN project has established a new point of presence (PoP) for Grahamstown in one of Rhodes' data centres, and we now connect directly to this PoP. This replaces our previous indirect connection to Port Elizabeth via Neotel's network. It represents the culmination of three years of planning, negotiation, politics, waiting, disappointment and frustration -- Rhodes is among the last to benefit from SANReN. The new connection runs at 10Gbps, or roughly a hundred times faster than the one it replaces.

As mentioned, Internet quotas have been doubled. This is the first increase in Internet quotas since September 2010, and is long, long overdue. The astute may have noticed that these quota changes effectively happened on Thursday last week, and have been applied retrospectively through the current quota period. This was to help with testing, and ensures you can immediately benefit from the newly-available Internet bandwidth.

We'd originally expected that our announcement of SANReN would include more favourable quota changes. However, testing over the weekend has revealed some unexpected problems with our own network that we need to overcome before we're able to do this; some equipment is not performing at its theoretical capability. We anticipate that, as we conquer these challenges over the next couple of weeks, we'll make further changes to Internet quotas. Information about current quotas is available at Changes to the structure of Internet quotas are likely; we'll post details of substantive changes to this noticeboard.

Over and above these immediate changes, during the coming weeks and months we'll be replacing equipment and making changes to the University's network to allow us to fully benefit from SANReN. Watch the noticeboard for details.