For all operational problems:
Participating Institutions NTUG-TENET Joint VoIP Project The National Telephony User Group (NTUG) and TENET have
launched a joint project to investigate the collaborative procurement of VoIP
services for TENET institutions. Apply to subscribe to the project mail list (soon) DITCHE Program FRENIA Program
NTUG-TENET Joint VoIP Project
The National Telephony User Group (NTUG) and TENET have launched a joint project to investigate the collaborative procurement of VoIP services for TENET institutions.
Apply to subscribe to the project mail list (soon)
Download ISPA Advisory on RIC Act as pdf (with acknowledgements to ISPA)
Tertiary Education Network (TENET) is an Association Incorporated under Section 21 (Registration Number 2000/020780/08). TENET was founded in August 2000 jointly by the then Committee of Technikon Principals (CTP) and the then SA Universities Vice-Chancellors' Association (SAUVCA). These two bodies have since merged to form Higher Education South Africa (HESA). HESA appoints the eight Members of TENET. The Articles of Association provide for a Board of up to nine Directors, who are appointed by the Members at Annual General Meetings of TENET. All Directorships lapse at the next AGM.
TENET is aso registered as a nonprofit organisation, with registration number 014-801 NPO, in terms of the Nonprofit Organisations Act ,1997.
TENET's main purpose is to secure, for the benefit of South African universities, Internet and information technology services, involving, inter-alia
[ Top of this page ]
The GEN2 agreement will terminate on 31 December 2007. It will be succeeded by a new service provider agreement, the procurement of which started on 27 July 2007 with the publication of the GEN3 Open Call for Expressions of Interest.. The procurement exercise is referred to as "the GEN3 procurement".
Certain clauses in the GEN2 agreement survive the termination. This includes clauses that oblige Telkom SA, as the GEN2 provider, to collaborate with TENET and the GEN3 provider (if not Telkom itself) to ensure a smooth transition with minimaldisruption of service, on a site by site basis, to service provision under the new service contract.
TENET and TELKOM signed the GEN2 agreement on 22 December 2004. From the Cut Over Date of 1 January 2005, it replaced the HEIST as the agreement governing TELKOM's provision of general Internet access and mutual inter-networking to higher education and research institutions. It terminates on 31 July 2006, until which date TELKOM will be the sole provider of these services to all participating institutions. Thereafter, until 31 December 2007, TELKOM enjoys preferred supplier status for the provision of these services, both through GEN2-like agreements with TENET as the agent of user institutions, and directly to user institutions (except, in the latter case, where an institution has declined to extend TENET's appointment as agent to 31 December 2007). In return for these commitments, TELKOM has offered attractive conditions of service and prices that, on average, represent a 20% reduction over those prevailing in 2004.
A key obligation of the GEN2 institutions is to ensure that TELKOM's monthly revenue does not decline. Since the entire exercise is about more bandwidth, TENET readily agreed that any unit price reductions would be "matched" by "compensating" upgrade orders. Annexure G to the GEN2 agreement contains a "GEN2 Cut Over Upgrade Order" for each GEN2 site, the chargeable value of which is within 1% of the amount to which the institution is committed under the HEIST and IADP agreements. These upgrade orders are deemed to have been placed by TENET as agent and accepted by TELKOM.
TENET will provide the administrative interface with TELKOM just as under the HEIST agreement. All orders, acceptances of service upgrades, invoices, receipts and payments to TELKOM will continue to be handled by TENET.
International Internet access
International Internet access is provided, as under the HEIST, by a specified amount of bandwidth on the SAT-3 submarine cable that is dedicated to the GEN2 institutions collectively, but shared between them. This is referred to as "the shared SAT-3 bandwidth". TENET may specify from time to time what the "International Share Factor" should be - i.e. per Mb/s of International Internet access ordered by GEN2 sites, how much shared SAT-3 bandwidth should be ordered? From 1 January 2005, TENET has set this factor at 0.75, which may be viewed as an "oversell ratio" (within the GEN2 family) of 1.33 to 1.
As under the HEIST, the International Internet access bandwidth ordered by any site is the maximum inbound traffic flow from international sources that is permitted to the site, this limitation being imposed by technical settings made at the GEN2 International Gateway Router. Outbound traffic flows to international sources are not restricted at the International gateway Router on a per site basis.
GEN2 international access makes use of TELKOM's international peering arrangements in London, Amsterdam, New York and Ashburn, Virginia, as well as of TELKOM's backup arrangements whereby the SAFE cable, which crosses the Indian ocean from Malaysia, with connections from there across the Pacific to the USA and the Internet generally, may be brought into use, if necessary.
In addition, the GEN2 network has a provisional connection to Geant, the European Commission's Research Inter-connect Network, via a GRE tunnel to the Geant PoP in London.
National Internet access
National Internet access is provided, as under the HEIST, by a specified amount of bandwidth into the SAIX network and its peering arrangements with other first-tier ISPs. This bandwidth is dedicated to the GEN2 institutions collectively, but shared between them, and is referred to as "the shared national peering bandwidth". TENET may specify from time to time what the "National Share Factor" should be - i.e. per Mb/s of National Internet access ordered by GEN2 sites, how much shared national peering bandwidth should be ordered? From 1 January 2005, TENET has set this factor at 0.75.
As under the HEIST, the National Internet access bandwidth ordered by any site is the maximum inbound traffic flow from other national networks that is permitted to the site, this limitation being imposed by technical settings made at the GEN2 National Gateway Router. Outbound traffic flows to other national networks are not restricted at the National gateway Router on a per site basis.
The GEN2 architecture differs from that of the HEIST in that the service-specific Permanent Virtual Circuits (PVCs) of the HEIST disappear, to be replaced by a common GEN2 Backbone network, that is configured within TELKOM's IPNet. Every GEN2-site as well as the International and National Gateway Routers are connected to the GEN2 Backbone, whose purpose is precisely to carry traffic between pairs of GEN2-Sites and between each GEN2-Site and the Gateways. Each GEN2-Site orders a specific bandwidth for its Backbone connection. Note that a site's Backbone connection is an unstructured circuit that carries all traffic (International + National + Inter-networking) entering or leaving the site. Traffic flows between any two sites are not limited other than by the sizes of their Backbone connections (and competition within these Backbone connections with other traffic entering or leaving the sites). Note also that there is no separate order quantity for Inter-Networking bandwidth - the ability to exchange traffic with other GEN2 sites is part and parcel of the Backbone Connection service.
All GEN2 service quantities are plain bandwidths
In summary, each GEN2-Site orders three service quantities: International Internet Access bandwidth; National Internet Access bandwidth; and Backbone Connection bandwidth.
Unit prices from TELKOM for the HEIST services were expressed as Rands per kb/s of CIR. Here CIR was the "Committed Information Rate" of the PVC that carried the traffic to and from the site. These PVCs were always configured to permit traffic flows up to twice the CIR setting. In the GEN2 agreement, the notion of CIR plays no role in the price structure: order quantities are expressed as bandwidths (think of these as HEIST PIRs - not CIRs) and prices are expressed as Rands per kb/s of bandwidth.
Quality of Service support in the GEN2 Backbone
The GEN2 backbone is configured within TELKOM's IPNet, which supports four Quality of Service Levels, ranging from the highest, called "Real Time (RT)", which is intended for voice and video-conferencing applications, to the fourth, called "General Data", which is strictly a "best-effort" (i.e. no quality commitment from TELKOM) level. The GEN2-Bacbone makes no use of the "Genera Data" QoS level at all. The default QoS level for Backbone Connections is the 3rd IPNet QoS level, called "Bulk Business (BB)". This means that all GEN2 Backbone traffic enjoys priority over GD traffic (which includes all ADSL subscriber traffic....), and is also protected by IPNet rules that limit the two higher QoS levels to having less than 40% of any sites total connection bandwidth.
The second QoS level is called "Interactive Business (IB)" and is intended especially for client-server applications used at multiple sites with a shared server at one of the sites. The various library consortia will doubtless wish to experiment with this.
Subject to the IPNet rules, GEN2 sites may order some of their Backbone Connection bandwidth to be transported at the IB QoS level and some at the RT QoS level. Fairly modest price increments apply.
What about institutional VPNs within the GEN2 Backbone?
Institutional VPNs cannot be ordered directly from TELKOM under the GEN2 agreement. However nothing prevents an institution from linking its own GEN2-sites by configuring a VPN within the GEN2 Backbone using software and/or appliances under its own control. DITCHE will be offering a Workshop on this topic early in 2005.
Telkom's CNC Help Desk service will support GEN2 services on a 365 x 7 x 24 basis as was the case under the HEIST agreement. There is no additional charge for this.
Ordering, commissioning, acceptance, invoicing and payments
GEN2 services are ordered through TENET, and all communications related to commissioning, acceptance, invoicing and payments are handled by and through TENET, as for HEIST services.
Possible two-step upgrades and migration
The GEN2 agreement allows TELKOM to carry out and commission the GEN2 Cut-Over Upgrade Orders (see above) and, on a per-site basis, if it so chooses, to do so within the HEIST platform first, to be followed by a migration at a later date to the IPNET platform. TELKOM upgraded no fewer than 46 GEN2 sites within the HEIST platform in this way before 1 January 2006. Further sites may be upgraded in this two-step way, while others be upgraded only as part and parcel of their migration to the IPNET platform.
TELKOM expects to complete the entire migration by 31 March 2005.
Download the GEN2 agreement and Charge CalculatorThe GEN2 agreement is confidential. It and its annexures may be downloaded as a single document by anyone who is authorised to use the "Exclusively for Institutions' IT Directors" zone, as may an Excel spreadsheet that serves as a rice calculator.
[ Top of this page ]
Download the ICC Agreement
The ICC agreement is confidential. It may be downloaded by anyone who is authorised to use the "Exclusively for Institutions' IT Directors" zone.
Summary of the Scheme
The Inter-Campus Connectivity Agreement obliges Telkom to offer comprehensive, customised inter-campus connectivity solutions to institutions that order such and that have appointed TENET as their agent in terms of the Agency agreement (client institutions). Institutions are under no obligation under the ICC agreement until such time as they place their first order in terms of it. Upon signing up, institutions commit to Telkom's being their sole provider of point-to-point connectivity until 16 August 2006. For its part, Telkom undertakes in a "most favoured nation" clause in the ICC agreement to offer such comprehensive service deals at a lowest possible price to the institution.
The Internet access services that Telkom provides under the GEN2 agreement ( and previously under the HEIST agreement) are simple commodity services that are offered by many ISPs in a competitive market. By contrast, point-to-point connectivity between LANs can be realised by many different technologies and products. Some of them involve considerable up-front installation charges but low monthly "rentals" - in others there is no installation charge. In some cases the customer has a choice between different price structures. Some price structures involve minimum contract periods; others do not. In addition to this variety of services, is the complication that provision of point-to-point connectivity in South Africa is also highly regulated. Telkom is still in the position of being the sole legitimate provider, albeit subject to many regulatory restraints.
For these reasons, the ICC agreement cannot and does not provide for institutions to order ICC services from a special but standardised price list. It provides rather for Telkom to be requested by any interested institution (provided that it is already a GEN2 customer) to undertake a study of the needs and circumstances of the institution, and then to make a formal ICC Proposal and Quotation to the institution. The investigation is done together with staff of the institution, and will take account of existing service contracts with Telkom as well as of opportunities to use newer technologies including microwave and laser transmission systems over shorter distances. The ICC agreement provides for existing Diginet and other Telkom services to be replaced by different services as part of an ICC contract without penalties for early termination of existing service contracts. The ICC Proposal and Quotation will probably involve an installation charge, a monthly rental, and a minimum contract period.
During the investigation, Telkom and institution representatives negotiate the details of the formal ICC Proposal and Quotation from Telkom. The institution can request TENET, in its role as agent, to participate. If agreement is reached, Telkom will submit the proposal and quotation, and the institution will instruct TENET to place the order on Telkom. If agreement is not reached, both Telkom and the institution may simply walk away with no further obligations. In particular, neither party is entitled to recover any costs of the investigation from the other party.
Will you get a good deal from Telkom? I believe that you'll get a significantly better deal that one you put together yourself by picking standard Telkom products and services and paying for each of them at Telkom's standard tarrifs. But the only way to know is to invite Telkom to do the investigation with you and to negotiate an ICC Proposal and Quotation with them.
How to trigger Telkom
To trigger Telkom to undertake an investigation of an institution's ICC needs, the Senior Responsible Person or designee should download and complete an ICC Request Form and send it via email to me instructing TENET to trigger Telkom. The email should specify contact details of the senior person with whom Telkom will deal. My advice is to ask Telkom to look comprehensively at all your known point-to-point connectivity requirements, because that will give the greatest opportunity for you and Telkom to construct a good deal.
Telkom's CNC Help Desk service will support ICC services in the same way as GEN2 services are supported. In addition, where the devices used in a solution support it, Telkom will provide the institutio with SNMP access to the device. Because of the private nature of ICC services, TENET will not have access to operational information or devices, and will not be providing traffic graphs or other performance indicators.
Ordering, commissioning, acceptance, invoicing and payments
ICC services are ordered through TENET, and all communications related to commissioning, acceptance, invoicing and payments are handled by and through TENET, following the procedures in use for GEN2 services. Invoice lines for ICC services will be integrated into TENET's existing invoices, and likewise for payments made to TENET as the agent.
Agency fee for ICC services
At its meeting on 25 April 2003, TENET's Board set the agency fee applicable to ICC orders at 3% of the monthly rental charged by Telkom. No agency fee is linked to installation charges, if any, that Telkom may be charged by Telkom.
[ Top of this page ]
TENET issues two documents each month - a Statement and a Tax Invoice - to each Institution. The Statement includes statements of position regarding TELKOM's services and TENET's management fee, and also includes the invoice details in respect of TELKOM's services, as per the consolidated Tax Invoice issued by TELKOM to TENET. However invoice details for the management fee are shown separately on TENET's Tax Invoice.
The South African Revenue Services (SARS) issued a formal directive, dated 16 July 2001 and entitled: VALUE-ADDED TAX: DIRECTIVE IN RESPECT OF THE TERTIARY EDUCATION NETWORK ("TENET") APPOINTED AS AGENT BY HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTES ("HEI"). The directive concerns the issuing of Statements by TENET for services provided by Telkom. It states that the Statement issued by TENET is considered to be an acceptable document on which an input tax deduction by an HEI may be claimed, subject to certain changes being made to the Statements.
The Directive is in the form of a letter to Johan Benade, of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Pretoria, through whom the issuing of a directive was requested.
Here's why TENET doesn't provide a Tax Invoice for TELKOM's services
There is a good reason for this, which has to do with TENET's status as your agent for the procurement of certain services from Telkom.
The principles and procedures are:
(a) As the Agent of the Institutions, TENET may handle the charges from TELKOM to the Institutions and the payments of these charges, including VAT, but TENET may not claim the VAT on these charges. VAT on TELKOM's services is charged by TELKOM - not TENET - and TELKOM is liable for it to the Receiver. VAT on TELKOM's services to an Institution is paid by the Institution - not by TENET, and may, where applicable, be claimed as input VAT by the Institution - not by TENET.
(b) TENET is obliged by law to issue a Tax Invoice in respect of services charged directly by TENET - i.e. in respect of the Management Fee.
(c) TELKOM is obliged to issue Tax Invoices in respect of the services for which it charges the Institutions, but these invoices may be issued to TENET (as the common Agent of the Institutions) as a single Tax Invoice document that lists the charges and VAT per Institution.
(d) TENET may issue a Statement, but may not issue a TAX invoice to the Institutions in respect of TELKOM's services to the Institutions. Institutions are obliged to pay the full amount to TENET against the Statement, in accordance with the terms set out in the Agency Agreement.
(e) Depending upon their individual VAT statuses, Institutions may claim the input VAT as set out on TENET's Statements.
(f) TENET is obliged to retain the original Tax Invoices from TELKOM in case of any enquiry.
[ Top of this page ]
N.B. TENET's publications are made available in Portable Document Format. They require Adobe's Acrobat Reader v5 to read or print them.
Information Manual (current version)
[ Top of this page ]
The HEIST Agreement
The HEIST Agreement between South African Higher Education, represented by TENET, and TELKOM SA Limited was signed on 13 December 2000. It provides for TELKOM to provide connectivity to the Internet and between institutions on a much greater scale than has hitherto been affordable for South African technikons and universities. In terms of a separate agreement between the National Research Foundation and TENET, the TELKOM solution also replaces the role of UNINET with regard to academic networking.
By the end of May 2001 all member institutions of UNINET had signed the Agency Agreement with TENET and become participants in the HEIST.
[Note added on 13 Feb 2004: Copies of the HEIST agreement and its various amendments can be downloaded by anyone with authorised access to the IT Directors' Zone. Note that these documents are subject to confidentiality restrictions as set out in the HEIST Agreement itself.]
[Note added on 7 January 2005: The HEIST agreement terminated and was replaced by the GEN2 agreement (full name: Agreement for a Second Generation Inter-Networking Solution for Higher Education and Research Institutions) with effect from 1 January 2005.]
Support from US Donors
It is great pleasure to acknowledge the assistance of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation and of a private donor during the almost two-year gestation period of the HEIST Agreement. Financial support well in excess of R1 million, which was administered by the Adamastor Trust, enabled the "US Donors' Bandwidth Initiative for HE in SA" to secure human resources and professional legal assistance and so to conduct the negotiations with TELKOM, the NRF and the HE institutions which resulted in the formation of TENET and the concluding of the HEIST Agreement with TELKOM.
Two people made special contributions in this regard. Dr Stuart Saunders, was asked by the US Donors to act as patron on their behalf for this initiative, and carried out this duty with deep conviction of its importance and with powerful insight into the workings of the mind of man and of man's institutions. TENET is most fortunate in having secured the services of Dr Saunders as the Company's first Chairman.
Dr Jim Leatt, in his capacity as Executive Director of the Adamastor Trust, was directly accountable for the donated funds. He has been very closely involved in the dual projects of forming TENET and of negotiating the HEIST deal with TELKOM. There have been many occasions where his general business savvy and considerable negotiating skills saved those involved from folly and re-directed their attention to what really mattered. TENET is fortunate in having Dr Leatt as its Deputy Chairman.
The amazing contributions of Mike Lawrie and the NRF
During the latter stages of the HEIST negotiations with TELKOM, and especially during the implementation period, Mike Lawrie, in his capacity as Academic Consultant to the NRF and de-facto UNINET Manager, played an absolutely crucial role in ensuring a smooth and effective transition from UNINET's technology platform to that of the HEIST. Mike worked intensely with TELKOM engineers at all levels; especially as regards the re-design of the routing architecture and the transition, without service disruptions, to it.
Mike also ensured that UNINET sites had access to their customary "UNINET-style" traffic graphs and other status reports, and undetook the migration of these web-based reports to this web site. Mike's daily news bulletins, published on netnews, kept folks informed, pretty much blow-by-blow, about progress with the transition.
It is with the deepest respect and gratitude that TENET acknowledges this contribution to academic networking in Southern Africa from the man who had already been its greatest champion for a long time.
As Vice-President of the NRF with responsibility for UNINET, Dr Gerhard von Gruenewald greatly facilitated the transition process, especially as regards his constructive attention the contractual and day-to-day working relationships between the NRF and TENET.
[ Top of this page ]
It is important for TENET to manitain good relations with the Internet services industry generally, and with ISPs in particular. Soon after its incorporation, TENET requested, and was granted, honorary membership of the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA). In addition, TENET has twice invited ISPA to nominate a suitable person to the Board of TENET. ISPA's current nominee to the Board of TENET is Mr Hillel Shrock, who is a member of the ISPA Executive Committee.
TENET subscribes to ISPA's Code of Conduct. It should be noted, however, that because TENET does not itself operate a network, provide hosting services, or deal directly with end-users, many of the provisions of the Code of Conduct do not apply to TENET.
Announcements regarding TENET operational matters are made on the Netnews mailing list. Anyone who is involved in operational side of the use, support or supply of services that involve TENET as agent or supplier will be welcomed as a subscriber. Netnews has many subscribers. Authors of postings should treat Netnews as a public list!
You can subscribe to Netnews by sending email as follows:-
Subject: anything that you wish
Message: subscribe YourFirstname YourLastname
[ Top of this page ]
Following the transfer of responsibility for the allocation of Internet numbers throughout the African region to AfriNIC, allocations of IPv6 address space that had been made by ARIN to allocatess in the AfriNIC region have to be returned to ARIN and would be replaced by new allocations from AfriNIC. Consequently the prefic 2001:0548::/32 is no longer allocated to TENET. AfriNIC has allocated the prefix 2001:4200::/32 to TENET, with effect from 24 october 2005.
This affects all existing assignments that TENET has made to institutions in the obvious way. In each and every existing assignment, the 1st through the 8th hexadecimal digits change from "2001:0548" to "2001:4200" while the 9th through 12th hexadecimal digits remain unchanged, as does the prefix size.
Assignee institutions are now bound by AfriNIC's policies rather than those of ARIN. AfriNIC's policies regading IPv6 can be found at http://www.afrinic.net/docs/policies/afpol-v6200407-000.htm
[ Top of this page ]
ARIN appoints TENET to act as Local Internet Registry
The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) has approved TENET's application, in the name of the UNINET Project, for appointment as a IPv6 Local Internet Registry to provide IPv6 address space to higher education institutions, research institutions and related support institutions in South Africa and neighbouring states that appoint TENET as their agent (referred to in the sequel as "TENET Institutions").
ARIN has allocated the global unicast prefix 2001:0548:: /32 of IPv6 to the UNINET Project and has authorised TENET to assign /48 prefixes to end-user organisations from it. TENET's intention is to make such assignments, upon application and subject to standard terms and conditions, to higher education, research and associated support institutions that appoint TENET as their agent for the procurement of Internet access. This plan is important, because it gives TENET institutions the benefit of having "portable address space" - space which remains theirs even though TENET may change the ISP that routes it, while ensuring that whichever ISP that is, complete aggregation of route announcements occurs automatically. For this reason also, no assignments will be made to institutions that have no agency agreement with TENET.
In more detail, the rationales behind this plan are:
IPv6 services that TENET will offer
Acting as the appointed agent of more than 50 higher education, research and associated support institutions, and through supply contracts with service providers, TENET will offer the following IPv6 services to TENET Institutions:
All connectivity services are provided via permanent virtual circuits configured within public broadband networks and/or dedicated leased lines.
TENET will arrange an IPv6 Implementation Planning Workshop for all interested parties early in 2003.
Cisco Systems has published a very readable introduction to IPv6 in its Understanding the Essentials Series under the title "The ABCs of IP Version 6". See http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/iosswrel/products_abc_ios_overview.html, from which the 74-page publication may be downloaded as a pdf file.
[ Top of this page ]
TENET invites applications from institutions that have entered into an Agency Agreement with TENET for assignments of IPv6 address space. Such assignments will be subject to the assignee's accepting TENET's IPv6 Address Assignment Policy. TENET's policies reflect those imposed by AfriNIC as well as ones that reflect TENET's agency role in the South African higher education and research sectors.
[ Top of this page ]
Briefing document and five templates
During the latter part of 2002 TENET contracted Buys Inc. Attorneys to prepare a briefing document about recent "e-legislation" for the use of South African public higher education institutions and associated consortia. TENET subsequently further contracted Buys Inc. to produce five templates from which these institutions could readily produce important policy documents relating to:
The license permits such institutions to use, modify and augment the templates as they see fit, but to take all reasonable steps to prevent the documents from becoming available to any other persons.
TENET is not authorised to make any of these documents available to any other institution or person. Enquiries may be directed to Buys Inc. Attorneys (email@example.com, 021 461 7387)
The opinion document, five templates and the license agreement have been compressed into a password-protected zip archive. TENET has told the IT Director at each qualifying institution the password and the URL from which this zip archive may be downloaded. I have asked the IT Directors not to make this password known to anyone else.
This initiative by TENET was prompted by concerns expressed by IT Directors about the impact of recent "e-legislation" on their institutions. Such legislation includes:
Buys Inc. Attorneys specialises in the law of the Internet, media and intellectual property. Reinhardt Buys, who founded Buys Inc. led the work personally. He presented the first draft of the briefing document to a meeting of IT Directors on 24 September 2002 in Durban, and the feed back received there substantially influenced the final version. Likewise, the first drafts of the templates were presented at a workshop on 19 November 2002 to a small group of senior university and technikon administrators, and the drafts augmented and revised in the light of their feedback. Buys Inc. did not charge TENET for the time that Reinhardt and his staff spent at these two events.
[ Top of this page ]