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ECC Receives Rural College Broadband Funds

Brad Hill, chief information officer and director of computer services at Edgecombe Community College, says a recent state grant will strengthen the college’s IT infrastructure.

Edgecombe Community College has received nearly $20,000 in Rural College Broadband funds that will strengthen IT infrastructure and provide network security enhancements.

These funds were made available by the State Board of Community Colleges, which recently approved the additional grant funding to support rural community colleges.

According to Brad Hill, chief information officer and director of computer services at ECC, the college has been awarded $19,610 to implement a next-generation firewall (NGFW) to protect the Amazon Web Services environment hosting the college’s Enterprise Resource Planning servers. The funds will cover initial implementation as well as licensing for the next five years.

“This NGFW solution represents a significant advancement in safeguarding ECC’s information systems, including those vital for academic administration, student services, finance, and human resources,” Hill explains. “By leveraging this grant, ECC will enhance its cybersecurity posture, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of our institution’s data.”

The Rural College Broadband Project has bolstered broadband access on 45 rural college campuses throughout the state over the last two years. The project implemented critical, college specific IT infrastructure and network security improvements. Multiple improvements were tailored to each college, including fiber cable installation, WiFi access point additions, cybersecurity, network power supply and security support, and firewall checks.

Hill adds, “We are grateful for the support provided by the State Board of Community Colleges and are committed to utilizing this funding effectively to strengthen ECC’s IT infrastructure and better serve our students and community.”