TSAILE, Ariz. - Diné College is the first Navajo Nation location with Metro Ethernet service powered by Frontier Communications. The College's network provides 20 megabits per second (Mbps) of bandwidth that students, faculty and staff on campus use to enhance their educational experience. Students on the Navajo Nation now have access to the same technology found at many colleges and universities across the county, helping to narrow the digital divide on the reservation.
"Having the latest technology available and affordable, allows us to level the playing field for our students, helping them reach their higher-education goals right here on the reservation," said Francesca Shiekh, Diné College Information Technology Director. "Through this technology the students can utilize the vast resources of the Internet while remaining close to their Navajo cultural heritage."
Metro Ethernet is a wide area network designed to connect multiple locations to a central Internet connection. This network gives students high-speed access to the Internet, for more robust research and fact gathering for academic projects, from the classroom, around campus and from the College's dormitories where WiFi is widely available. Students are also using this connection to download data from the Diné College Library's journal subscriptions, and to communicate with faculty and fellow students. Faculty members are using the network for research in their field, to stay connected with students and staff members, and to enhance lesson plans helping prepare the students for the needs of the workforce after college.
"This step to broader connectivity will be an invaluable resource as the College begins offering bachelor degrees in the coming Fall semester," Shiekh added.
"The Diné College network is rightfully the first Metro Ethernet network on the reservation. Frontier is committed to helping advance the future of the Nation by providing students on the reservation access to enhanced Internet applications and funding for higher education through our annual scholarship program," said Joe Hausner, General Manager Frontier Communications.
Diné College is now looking to expand the Wide Area Network (WAN) to three times the current capacity to support the growing demand for distance learning programs between the eight branch campus locations.