As part of the celebration, EastNet has announced the opening of two new remote dial-up sites in Washington and New Bern, developed in conjunction with the Beaufort and Craven County school systems. The new dial-up servers, referred to as "EastNet Jr." sites, will enable public school teachers and administrators in Beaufort and Craven County areas to connect to the Internet through the ECU service without having to make a long distance telephone call. These latest sites expand the EastNet coverage area to four locations in eastern North Carolina.
The other two sites are on the ECU campus and in Wilson. The Wilson site was established last year. EastNet began it operations three years ago in the ECU School of Education. At first there were only about 250 users, but these numbers have climbed steadily. Today there are over 5,000 people signed up as users of the service. Gregg F. Lowe, EastNet's System Operator, said the service "has met with success which far exceeded our wildest expectations."
He said users have connected with the system over one million times and have used nearly one-half million hours of on-line time since March 1, 1995, the date the service began. On an average day, users dial into the system more than 1,900 times and transmit or receive about 1.5 gigabytes of e-mail. Along with its role as an Internet service provider to educators, EastNet has enabled public schools in the region to have their own web sites. The county school systems with web sites, hosted by the EastNet server, are Currituck, Dare, Edenton-Chowan, Edgecombe, Greene, Hyde, Pitt, Tyrrell and Wilson.
EastNet is also the host for the N.C. Partnership for School Health, the Southeast Education Alliance, the North Carolina Network and the North Carolina Association of School Administrators. One of the best known features of EastNet is the Parking Cam, a camera that projects live pictures from a campus parking lot. During Hurricanes Bertha and Fran, the Cable News Network (CNN) showed its viewers EastNet Parking Cam pictures of storm action. The EastNet web site is at http://www.eastnet.ecu.edu .
The Parking Cam can be found at http://www.eastnet.ecu.edu/cameras . The school sites are at http://schools.eastnet.ecu.edu . Internet access through EastNet is provided at no charge to public educators. Lowe said the service is an example of the outreach and support provided by the ECU and the School of Education to the public schools of eastern North Carolina. The North Carolina General Assembly provided the original funding for EastNet through the Eastern North Carolina Consortium for Advancement and Research (ENCCARE). Today, ECU supports the service. It is directed by the School of Education's Office of School Services. The EastNet Jr. sites are funded by their local county school systems.
ECU News Bureau