The UCT network connects various university sites to each other and provides storage, internet access, and other services – such as WiFi – to staff and students on all campuses. The current network infrastructure – which was implemented in the first decade of the 21st century –  served us well, but reached its end of life.

As a result, ICTS embarked on a network renewal project in mid-2018. The project enabled us to not only maintain the previous level of network quality, but also improve network performance and security, and equip the university for network-related applications and services that will become more prominent in the future.

Benefits for UCT

The new network will bring many benefits to the university, including:

  • Enhanced security: With major data breaches becoming more common, security is no longer an afterthought. World-class threat detection and security mechanisms will be built into all layers of the new network, helping to safeguard UCT data, devices, and systems.
  • Better performance: Technology is crucial to many facets of life at UCT – including core functions such as research and teaching and learning. The new network will cater to both current and future needs – including faster network links  and increased capacity to handle the ever-growing demand brought about by the rise in network-reliant devices.
  • Improved efficiency: Standardisation and automation will boost efficiency, while the new network will also lay the foundation for future smart technologies.

Timelines and project phases

Network renewal is a vast and complicated undertaking. The project began in the Winter 2018 vacation, and the work was split up into various phases.

Phase 1 (July 2018 – June 2019):

In this phase, the project team replaced UCT’s network core - which involved upgrading the primary and secondary core switches which route all data traffic on campus (both main routes and backup routes).

The team also began campus-wide wireless infrastructure upgrades, implemented internet security infrastructure upgrades, and upgraded the Upper and Middle Campus data centres.

Numerous other tasks were completed in this phase.

Phase 2 (July 2018 - December 2020)

The team continued the campus-wide wireless infrastructure upgrades, upgraded UCT's VPN service, and completed various other tasks - including security upgrades on various network infrastructure.

Phase 3 (September 2019 - December 2022)

In this phase, the team continued to upgrade security infrastructure, while the campus-wide wireless infrastructure upgrades were completed.

Impact on staff and students

Some of the work required interruptions to network services – such as printing, eduroam, and internet connectivity. However, to minimise the impact on the UCT community, we will strove to carry out most major work on weekends and outside of term time where possible. We informed the UCT community prior to such work.

Residences were upgraded, and student rooms no longer have access to wired network points. Students now need to connect wirelessly to eduroam.

The following sites were completed in this phase:

Academic buildings Administrative Buildings Residences Other buildings
AC Jordan
Anatomy Annex
Ballet school
Barnard Fuller
Baxter SLC
Chemical Engineering
Chris Barnard
College of Music
Computer Science
Electrical & Mechanical Engineering
Environmental and Geographical Science
Geomatics lab (Menzies building)
Groote Schuur Hospital H Block (Maternity)
Groote Schuur Hospital: L Block
Hiddingh Campus
Huriǂoaxa (Hoerikwaggo)
HW Pearson
ICH (Red Cross Hospital)
John Day (Zoology)
Kaplan Centre
Leslie Commerce
Leslie Social Sciences
Libraries: Jagger & Hlanganani
Medical Library
Molecular Biology
Mowbray Maternity Hospital
New Groote Schuur Hospital
New Lecture Theatre
Main Building: OMBE
Old Main Building (J-block)
Old Main Building: OMBK and OMBJ-Floor (Desmond Tutu unit)
Old Main Building: Out Patient Department
RMH (Health Sciences)
RW James
School of Economics
Science Lab D
Snape (Teaching And Learning Building)
Somerset Hospital
UCT Lung Institute
Werner Beit North & Wolfson
Werner Beit South
Allan Cormack House
Avenue House
Braemar Cottage
Cambria House
ICTS on Main
Isaac Albow
Ivan Toms (Princess Christian House)
Ivan Toms
La Grotta
Maintenance Place
Old Admin building
Otto Beit
Risk Services Operations Centre (Mowbray)
The Cottage
11 Woodbine Road residence
15 Osbourne Road residence
18 Rhodes Avenue residence
3, 5, 9 Stanley Road Residence
5 Stanley Road
All Africa House
Amalinda residence
Baxter Residence
Cadbol residence
Carinus residence
Clarendon residence
College House residence
Dullah Omar residence
Edwin Hart residence
Exair residence
Forest Hill residence
Forest Hill residence - F block
Fuller Residence
Glen residence
Graça Machel Residence
Groote Schuur residence
Harold Cressy residence
Killindini Residence
Kopano residence
Leo Marquard Hall
Liesbeeck Gardens
Linkoping residence & staff housing
Medical residence
North Grange residence
Obz Square residence
Philip Kgosana residence (p.k.a. JP Duminy)
Rochester House residence
Rondeberg residence
TB Davie residence
Tugwell residence
University House residence
Upper Campus Residence (previously Smuts)
Varietas residence
Wolmunster residence & staff housing
Woolsack residence
Baxter Theatre
Fitness Centre (Middle Campus)
George Hospital (Health Sciences remote site)
Gugulethu Clinic (Health Sciences remote site)
Hanover Park Clinic (Health Sciences remote site)
Khayelitsha Clinic (Health Sciences remote site)
Knysna Clinic (Health Sciences remote site)
Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital (Health Sciences remote site)
Mitchells Plain Clinic (Health Sciences remote site)
Mitchells Plain District Hospital (Health Sciences remote site)
Mbekweni Clinic (Health Sciences remote site)
Mosselbaai Clinic (Health Sciences remote site)
Oudtshoorn Clinic (Health Sciences remote site)
Paarl Hospital (Health Sciences remote site)
Retreat Clinic (Health Sciences remote site)
Sarah Baartman Hall
SATVI Clinic (Worcester) (Health Sciences remote site)
Sports Centre
Sports Science Institute
The Children’s Institute  (46 Sawkins Road)
Valkenberg - Education (Health Sciences remote site)
Valkenburg HA6 (Health Sciences remote site)
Vanguard Clinic (Health Sciences remote site)
Victoria Hospital (Health Sciences remote site)
Vredenburg Hospital and Vredenburg House (Health Sciences remote site)


    If you have any queries about the project, please contact ICTS Communications.