With school districts relying on remote learning to minimize the spread of COVID-19, broadband internet is an essential component of student success.
Add canyons, mountainous terrain, and uninhabited wilderness to the equation, and connecting students to online learning resources becomes seemingly impossible.
This is the exact issue the San Juan School District, located on and near the Navajo Nation in Southern Utah, has been facing since last spring.
In an area so geographically diverse, it can be challenging for school buildings to receive internet access, let alone the homes scattered throughout the dramatic landscape.
Faced with no other option than remote learning, students in this area are struggling to keep up.
“Being invited to be a part of providing WIFI for the Navajo Nation has been a great honor to VIKOR,” says VIKOR CEO, Craig Snyder. “With the Nation being hit so hard with COVID-19,” says Snyder, “the need for remote learning and connectivity is vital to the well-being of the students and their families. We look forward to a successful conclusion of this project and being involved in similar projects throughout the Navajo Nation in the times ahead.”
As a leader in wireless infrastructure across the nation, VIKOR’s commitment to overcoming technological challenges in rural populations is stronger than ever, and that’s true especially during a national crisis.
“We are pleased to have partnered with the San Juan School District and Utah Navajo Health System (UNHS) as the main contractor in building the infrastructure that will connect 500 homes along this region with the worldwide web. Not only will this finally provide students access to classroom resources, but it will also facilitate connection for the rest of the community who may currently feel disconnected from work, school, family and healthcare,” said Snyder.
Todd Adams, Project Manager at VIKOR, explained, “We are committed to working with San Juan School District and UNHS well into 2021 to see this project to completion. Being involved in this project has been an exciting adventure. This area is remote, with little technological advances, so bringing this type of opportunity to the families in the area is a big step in helping them reach a new level in their ability to learn and communicate, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
With the help of residents within the Navajo Nation, working under the management of Corey Johnson of Interlinx Solutions, Adams and his team have already installed over 100 towers. Necessary Broadband equipment for these new towers, in addition to many other existing towers, will soon be installed. This will allow those with previously spotty internet, or with no internet access at all, to access the worldwide web with ease.