Navajo Technical University – Sacred Wind Communications – A Public / Private Partnership
October 27 – 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm
The Navajo Nation is besieged with COVID-19 viral communal spread, impacting multi-generational families that live in close quarters, often without electricity and running water. Internet connectivity for many Navajo students and faculty is haphazard and inconsistent between their homes and the service locations found in many of their community spaces, educational facilities, commercial hotspots, or by way of cellular service. Power is similarly inconsistent. Many organizations throughout the region have implemented temporary hotspots in locations like Crownpoint, Tuba City, and Ganado. Leadership at higher education and research organizations such as Northern Arizona University (NAU), Navajo Technical University (NTU), Diné College, and others, have initiated plans to further implement connectivity options.
Navajo Technical University and Sacred Wind Communications established a new collaboration to implement an Educational Broadcast System (EBS) 2.5 Ghz wireless pilot to 30,000 homes and business in eastern Navajo. This partnership will establish service that will reduce the digital divide and strengthen how Navajo may address the severe lack of broadband services. Dr. Gil Gonzales, Principal of the Gonzales Group LLC is the NTU consultant that assisted NTU and SWC in planning and moving the project forward.