Benefits of Connecting to NCREN

What does it mean to be connected to NCREN?

Connecting the Education Community

First and foremost, being connected to the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) means your school system or research institution is connected to a state-of-the-art, high-speed statewide network that is optimized for connecting the K-20 community to each other, state government, the Internet, and national research networks like Internet2. Members of the NCREN community include all 115 public school systems, 16 of North Carolina's public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees and most of the state's private universities and colleges including Duke University and Wake Forest University. Other members include community colleges, the NC School of Science and Math, UNC-TV, state government, regional community networking initiatives such as WinstonNet and ERC Broadband, and many of the state's medical and research institutions. Examples of instructional and administrative educational resources currently accessible through NCREN include the following:

  • Learn & Earn Online - online college credit courses offered by UNCG iSchool and the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) Online Learning
  • North Carolina Virtual Public Schools (NCVPS) - online high schools course credit to middle and high schools students
  • ClassScape - online formative assessment system
  • NCTest - North Carolina online End-of-Course tests
  • NCDesk - North Carolina online test of computer skills
  • NCWise - student information management system
  • LearnNC - lesson plans and teaching strategies, classroom text & multimedia, and online courses for teachers and students from the UNC School of Education
  • NCREN Video Conferencing Services - H.323 video conferencing, satellite uplinking and downlinking, and live and stored video streaming services for the K-20 community
  • Internet2 K20 Educational Resources

NCREN employs advanced networking technologies and systems to continuously improve learning and collaboration throughout North Carolina's K-20 education community. NCREN provides the platform for developing and delivering advanced services. Potential future services accessible by connecting to NCREN may include next generation collaborative services, virtual computing, and data replication/disaster recovery. Network-related Infrastructure Services In support of our connectivity services, NCREN offers performance measurement tools and Domain Name Service (DNS). To learn more about NCREN performance measurement tools, please go to: To learn more about Domain Name Service (DNS), please see the knowledge base article on Domain Name Services.

Client Network Engineering

Client Network Engineering personnel are available to work with the LEAs and Community Colleges to design, implement and support the LEA network and security infrastructure required to fully leverage their NCREN connectivity. The CNE group provides network design services, general technical guidance and advice, product assessment and recommendations, guidelines and best practices, and assistance resolving complex LEA network problems. In addition, a network assessment service is available which will measure and document the network functionality and performance of the LEA network.

MCNC's Endowment

MCNC is in a unique position with our endowment. We have committed to leveraging the endowment to facilitate 21st Century Educational Outcomes. We are investing in the future of North Carolina in a number of ways. Following are three examples of how we (MCNC) are investing in you: (1) We invested 8M to fund the most recent upgrade of the core of our network. We recently increased the capacity of our core network to 10 Gigabit speeds, (2) Over 1M annually to discover the best collaborative services for MCNC to offer the K20 Education Enterprise in North Carolina. Many of these services are services that are best served/offered in a centralized manner, (3) We contributed 4M in matching funds for round one of the Broadband Technology and Opportunities Program (BTOP), which has resulted in a $40 million investment in North Carolina’s broadband infrastructure.

Expert Staff

Here at MCNC, we have a team of highly skilled professionals dedicated to providing the highest quality of service to the members of the NCREN community. This commitment to quality is evident in our network availability and the consistently positive annual customer satisfaction survey results. Click here to view our current performance summary report. To learn more about NCREN and our current service offerings, please visit our service catalog.