About Us


In 1995, Wake Forest University began its plan to embrace information technology through the adoption of its groundbreaking laptop computer program. A cornerstone of the plan was to provide electronic access to the developing resource known as the Internet. To do that, the university deployed 26 miles of fiber optic cable linking its Reynolda and Hawthorne campuses.

From that start grew the movement that in 1997 was named WinstonNet. The goal? To create a technology-rich community with the support of government, civic and educational institutions.

Over the next 16 years, the explosion of the Internet era coincided with the blossoming of WinstonNet’s fiber optic ring and enhanced connections. Those involved began to study how WinstonNet could help the region transform to a modern, information-based economy that relied on education, training and workforce development.

WinstonNet adopted a three-pronged strategy:

In 2003, WinstonNet dedicated its Computer Lab project at the Carl H. Russell, Sr. Recreation Center in Winston-Salem. Ultimately, WinstonNet grew to operate 41 computer labs in city recreation centers, churches, libraries, a homeless day shelter and the YMCA.

WinstonNet has supported initiatives such as conferences by Winston-Salem State University at which grid-related computing technology is discussed. An innovative demonstration of supercomputing occurred in November 2003, when WinstonNet participated with the Alban Elved Dance Company to demonstrate real-time supercomputing in support of the arts.

WinstonNet has provided vision and leadership in the community on issues related to technology thanks to the many organizations involved. It continues to focus on providing modern and equal access to technology resources to all citizens of Forsyth County.