Sept. 21, 2023  


Leha Byrd

ECSU Communications and Marketing  

Email or 252.335.8745

Funding from a $2.13 million grant from the United States Department of Commerce to Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) will not only boost internet connectivity, accessibility and reach on campus, but positions the Elizabeth City community at large to do the same, university officials said.

In Viking Land, the grant boasts incentives like providing students with laptops and two years of internet connectivity at no cost. Additionally, online students challenged by a lack of internet access can connect to university rendered hot spots. Wi-Fi access will also be extended to other ECSU operational areas such as the university’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Drone Pavilion. And, all mobile laboratory units used for student field experiences will be equipped with cellular technology to provide high-speed internet in the air space field.

Off campus, funding will underpin a community thrust that includes workshops for senior citizens, workforce development, and STEM training. With the goal of encouraging digital literacy, community members may also be eligible to receive a loaned electronic device.

The dual distribution of this funding is a gain ECSU is proud to uphold.

“The infrastructure upgrades to expand broadband connectivity, especially providing connectivity in the areas on campus that are dead zones, is an irritant that we can now get a hold of and eradicate,” said Kuldeep Rawat, Ph.D., dean of the School of Science, Aviation, Health, and Technology and the principal investigator on this project. “Because we can incorporate the larger community into the scope of how we educate, we’re motivated to ensure we do our part to keep citizens connected socially and digitally in a way that benefits them the most.”

This summer, Rawat and his team conducted a pilot workshop for senior citizens and STEM enrichment activities for high school students. Similar sessions are planned for later this year.


Elizabeth City State University provides students with a high-quality, affordable education as one of North Carolina’s leading four-year public institutions that is part of the University of North Carolina System. ECSU develops leaders who are courageous, resilient, and empowered through excellent student-centered, experiential learning. We offer baccalaureate, professional, and master’s degrees across a wide variety of interests. Excellence is the standard at Elizabeth City State University – success is our legacy. Come to Discover. Leave to Conquer. Visit