Albany Schools Network Logo

Home > Join the ASN

Any school (which we define as having an EMIS number) in the area that can arrange "last mile" access to our Point of Presence at the Struben Building at Rhodes University is welcome to join. Fees are involved, but they are quite modest for the services available. In particular, national (within South Africa) bandwidth is plentiful and fast, and enabling of many educational services.

We recommend schools investigate ways of getting fibre to Rhodes (or perhaps back to the closest school that has fibre going to Rhodes). This is, unfortunately, usually an expensive proposition. Although unglamorous, the sleeving is essentially an asset with a ~50 year lifespan. When calculating affordability, take the long lifespan into account.

Whilst "last mile" wireless links can be effective, they are typically not reliable and do not have the growth potential of fibre connectivity; wherever possible, schools must find some way of getting a fibre link to be realistically able to offer the internet services needed at scale in the 21st century.

Schools that only use 50 computers to look at Wikipedia in a lab are, of course, vastly different from those that have thousands of devices on BYOD looking at YouTube. In particular, 5GHz wireless links are increasingly less useful as more and more organisations become WISPs or use it for other connectivity requirements; licensed frequency links, although expensive, do not suffer from those interference problems, but are typically relatively low bandwidth (and expensive).

We have typically found member schools willing to assist new members in getting connected (likewise Rhodes) by offering connectivity via their premises where they happen to be closer than any other ASN infrastructure. Schools have historically "paid their own way" to obtain the infrastructure required to connect.

Similar to other "transit" ISPs, you come to us at a suitable interconnection point (unlike "end user" ISPs where they come to you).

Should you wish to discuss options for connectivity at your school, please Contact Us.