Education, Higher Ed

For local students who need Wi-Fi, East Carolina University answers the call

If you have been working from home these last few weeks, chances are you have thought more than once how important it is that your high-speed internet connection holds up.

Broadband is the backbone to staying connected to your co-workers and staying sane with access to NetFlix, Hulu and other streaming platforms.

But access to high-speed broadband can still be a scarce resource for some North Carolina families.

East Carolina University decided Wednesday to make its Wi-Fi network available to K-12 and college students who don’t have reliable broadband internet service.

ECU’s Information Technology and Computing Services (ITCS) has created a Wi-Fi network called ECUCommunityWiFi that university officials say will be available across all ECU buildings and campuses.

Students will not be able to access the university buildings, but several locations are recommended for the strongest outdoor signal. Locations include:

  • Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium parking lots on north and south side
  • Parking lot between the Croatan and Austin
  • ECU mall (parking limited)
  • Wright Plaza (parking limited)
  • Parking lot between Student Rec Center and Greene Residence Hall
  • Parking lot in front of Christenbury Memorial Gym

Because of COVID-19, Pitt County Schools continue to be closed for in-person instruction through May 15 with learning activities for all classes being offered online.

ECU reminds the public to practice social distancing while visiting the campus to access Wi-Fi.

Earlier this week, NC League of Municipalities Chief Legislative Counsel Erin Wynia told state lawmakers the need for high-speed access was critical for cities and towns working to navigate this health crisis.

“The need for reliable internet could not be more obvious right now,” said Wynia. Yet, many parts of the state are disconnected.

Passing the FIBER NC Act, which would allow for public-private partnerships to address the problem, must be a priority of the General Assembly, according to the League.

Are you a student living in the Greenville area and want to access the ECU Wifi?
Network Name: ECUCommunityWiFi  Password: Pirates2020

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