The Divide: Sacred Wind's John Badal on bringing broadband to Navajo Nation3/18/2022
This episode features John Badal, founder and CEO of Sacred Wind Communications (SWC), a privately owned telecommunications company focused on bridging the digital divide for tribal lands in rural New Mexico. Founded in 2006, Sacred Wind has brought high-speed wireless and fiber broadband access to Navajo lands that previously lacked basic phone services.
Here are some topics discussed in this episode:
- Why Badal left a larger telco to start Sacred Wind Communications (01:09)
- What the digital divide looks like for New Mexico's Navajo lands and how it's improved (04:48)
- The tech Sacred Wind uses to deliver broadband (07:00)
- How Sacred Wind involves Navajo chapters in broadband expansion plans (08:04)
- How Sacred Wind's non-profit arm focuses on digital education (10:47)
- The importance of federal subsidies like the Affordable Connectivity Program to Sacred Wind's work (14:18)
- About SWC's non-profit fund
- For tribes, crucial broadband grants come with hurdles
- The Divide: James Clark on preserving Native American culture with broadband
— Nicole Ferraro, site editor, Broadband World News; senior editor, global broadband coverage, Light Reading. Host of "The Divide" on the Light Reading Podcast.