The campus network of the University of Peradeniya was established in 1999 with funding provided by Swedish International Development Co-operation Agent (SIDA) and became fully operational in early 2001. The ICSU (Internet and Communication Services Unit) was created as a unit in the Faculty of Engineering in 2001 for the operation and maintenance of the network. A director for the unit was also appointed on voluntary basis by the Vice Chancellor in February 2001. Network engineers were recruited on contract basis, on one year contracts at each instance, to carry out the network operations, with their salaries being paid from funds provided by SIDA.
Although major funding from SIDA was not available after 2003, some funding for the maintenance of the network (about Rs. 1 Million per year) was available until December 2007. Part of this funding was used for paying the salaries of the network engineers hired on contract basis. In February 2005, a web developer was also recruited by the university on contract basis for one year, with the salaries being paid from university funds. Although efforts were taken since 2006 to create cadre-provisions for the ICSU and establish funding to pay the salaries on network engineers on contract basis, neither of the objectives has been achievable to date.
In April 2008, a fresh request was made to the Chairman/UGC to create cadre-provisions for the ICSU. This request has also been referred back to the university as the ICSU has not been formally established as a unit either in the Faculty of Engineering or University of Peradeniya. It has therefore become necessary to formally establish the ICSU as a unit in the university. As the unit serves the entire university it has been suggested that it be established as a university unit, but, physically located in the Faculty of Engineering, as the technical expertise to run the unit is readily available in the faculty.
Although the unit was originally established to provide network and Internet services, it has also provided technical expertise in developing the campus communication system. The latter includes the integration of conventional PBXs and the Voice over IP infrastructure, introducing facilities such as DID/DOD, and reporting telephone usage for billing purposes. As the main services provided by the unit are network and communication services, new name Network and Communication Services Unit (NCSU) was proposed later and approved by the University Council.
At present, NCSU operates with a Network Engineer (on contract basis) and a Technical Officer .