Our Community - NC Colleges and Universities

Welcome to the MCNC webspace for
Colleges and Universities

Colleges & Universities - students

The North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) has a long, rich history that began with a collaboration between MCNC and the state’s universities which were the cornerstone of constituents that defined the vast network serving North Carolina’s colleges and universities today.


The North Carolina General Assembly initially funded MCNC in 1980 to be a catalyst for technology-based economic development throughout the state. In 1985, MCNC received a state mandate to provide and operate an advanced communications network CONCERT (subsequently called NCREN). The initial microwave system linked NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke, NC A&T, UNC Charlotte, Research Triangle Institute, and MCNC.

In collaboration with North Carolina universities, NCREN developed the nation’s first broadcast quality, interactive video network for distance learning in 1984, and in 2000, developed the nation’s first Internet-based, interactive distance learning video network. NCREN’s computing and data network started almost a decade before the commercial Internet was developed, and NCREN was North Carolina’s first, and one of the world’s first, Internet service providers.

These accomplishments would not have been achieved without the strong collaboration and support from the UNC General Administration (UNC GA) and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) organizations.


MCNC serves all public universities in the UNC GA system and many of the NCICU institutions. Each is increasingly integrating broadband-dependent technologies in curriculum and administration, and access is required for students, faculty, and staff both on and off campus. Implementation of new digital learning environments and dynamic online courses and content is further proof that demand for middle-mile bandwidth in higher education will continue to rise. To accommodate this growth, MCNC offers Internet connections ranging from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps.

While support of university education and research will always be a major component of MCNC’s mission, NCREN, through the groundwork established from teamwork and partnerships with our universities, has been scaled to be part of a solution that brings very high bandwidth access, collaborative technologies, and rich content to K-20 students, non-profit healthcare, libraries, museums, and other community anchor institutions across the state.

Our customers connected to NCREN can access the NCREN Community Portal to view connection information for their institution. Login and password are required.