Scientific curiosity to probe the nature of the universe is pushing the boundaries of big data transport and computing for radio telescopes. MeerKAT, the South African precursor to Square Kilometre Array, has 64 antennas separated by up to 12 km. By 2018, each antenna will stream up to 160 Gbps over optical fiber to a central computing engine. The antenna digitizers require highly accurate clock signals distributed with high stability. This paper outlines requirements and key design aspects of the MeerKAT network with timing reference overlay. Fieldwork results are presented into the impact of birefringence and polarization fluctuations on clock stability.