NWU’s IT excellence ensures optimal speed

Belinda Bantham -- Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:34

NWU’s IT excellence ensures optimal speed

Internet speed at the North-West University (NWU) are among the fastest in South Africa. That’s according to the IT news website MyBroadband, which rated the NWU as the university with the second fastest internet in the country for October. As if that wasn’t enough, the university was also credited with having the fourth fastest internet among South African organisations of all types.

“The NWU is very proud that MyBroadband’s speed test places the NWU among the best. Reliable and fast internet for all is a fundamental building block for realising IT’s mission of moving from a low value support focus towards a higher maturity level in terms of business value for research and teaching and learning” says Mr Boeta Pretorius, the university’s chief director for IT.

He says IT wants to stimulate innovation and keep the NWU at the forefront. “Faster internet is a valuable tool to help achieve this. I am proud to be part of a strong team who made this possible.”

According to the MyBroadband website, https://mybroadband.co.za/, speed tests are done through two servers, one in Cape Town and one in Johannesburg, to ensure a neutral testing environment. Their two speed test servers were recently upgraded to support connectivity of up to 10 gbps (gigabytes per second).

The NWU’s bandwidth reached 2 245 674 kbps (kilobytes per second) for downloads and 1 331 251 kbps for uploads during the October speed tests. The university with the fasted internet speed, Stellenbosch University, reached 2 874 602 kbps for downloads and 838 859 kbps for uploads. Third on the list was the University of Johannesburg with 998 800 kbps for downloads and 995 500 kbps for uploads.

“Being among the companies in the country with the highest internet speeds puts the NWU in an exclusive club. Fast and reliable internet is high on the list when it comes to students’ needs,” says Mr Wilhelm van Belkum, director for IT: operations and Infrastructure.

The NWU is one of a handful of universities that provide uncapped and unshaped bandwidth for all students and staff, while still being affordable and offering high performance. This enables researchers and students to bridge the digital divide and not be stifled by costs. The university is also fostering digital innovation by providing unlimited cloud storage and email to all university users.      

Wilhelm says the NWU is no stranger to IT excellence. Since 1987 the university has a proud legacy in ground-breaking IT and internet. “The first internet message in South Africa was sent between the NWU and Rhodes University. The NWU is also the biggest user of the internet when measured against other universities,” he proudly says.