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Datacenter Gives Internet To 70 Percent of Navajo Nation

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the yah-tah-hey-this-is-cool dept.

United States 162

Nerval's Lobster writes "The Navajo Nation cut the ribbon August 13 on an $8 million data center that has been under debate and development since 2000, when then-President Bill Clinton expressed shock that a 13-year-old Navajo girl who just won a new laptop couldn't connect to the Internet. At the time that girl won the laptop in a school contest, the Navajo Nation--a 27,425 square-mile region that covers portions of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico--had barely any IT infrastructure. The incident helped drive debate among leaders of the Navajo Nation, many of whom said they believed adding telecommunications and computing facilities were secondary to other concerns for the chronically poverty stricken region. The 50,000-square-foot facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico includes 25,000-sq.-ft. of datacenter and an equal space for computer training and business incubation, according to Nova Corp., an IT services company owned by Navajo Nation and formed in 2004 to execute an IT plan to create the "Digital Navajo Nation" (PDF). The drive to get it built also helped push development of a $46 million broadband project designed to cover about half of Navajo territory with 550 miles of fiber, 32 new cell towers and upgrades to another 27. It will eventually connect more than 30,000 households and 1,000 businesses."

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162 comments

Rural internet at its best (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576031)

Soon the Navajo will have better internet than the rest of the West!

Re:Rural internet at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576109)

Monument Valley will now have sell towers along with the sandstone pillars.

Progress.

"build more pylons"? WTF does that mean?!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576485)

Monument Valley will now have sell towers along with the sandstone pillars.

Progress.

Strange. It seems like it's trying to communicate. What are you trying to say?

Re:Rural internet at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576321)

Soon the Navajo will have better internet than the rest of the West!

Given what's out there on the internet, that ain't exactly a hard thing to do.

What good is served by spending all kinds of money to get "rural broadband"?

Seriously. What real societal good does broadband internet access bring? It's not anything like electricity, which has a direct impact on sanitation and health.

Re:Rural internet at its best (4, Insightful)

mcl630 (1839996) | about 8 months ago | (#44576405)

It has a direct impact on education. And try to get a decent job in today's world without knowing at least basic Internet use.

Re:Rural internet at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576777)

It has a direct impact on education. And try to get a decent job in today's world without knowing at least basic Internet use.

How?

Education worked for thousands of years before the internet existed, and sure doesn't seem to be improving.

Re:Rural internet at its best (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576455)

Unlimited access to worldwide knowledge and communication is will make a huge impact on education, employment potential and quality of life.

Re:Rural internet at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576731)

Unlimited access to worldwide pr0n will make a huge impact on ... quality of life or something.

FTFY?

Re:Rural internet at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576879)

Unlimited access to worldwide knowledge and communication is will make a huge impact on education, employment potential and quality of life.

BINGO!

Nice buzzwords.

Now provide specifics.

Re:Rural internet at its best (0)

xevioso (598654) | about 8 months ago | (#44576391)

The article title is poorly worded. A datacenter did not give the internet to 70% of the Navajo Nation.

The correct title is, "Datacenter connects 70% of Navajo Nation to internet".

I'm pretty certain all the other nations on the internet would have an issue with transferring control of the internet to a tiny native american nation in the U.S. southwest. Although maybe they could manage it better? I dunno.

Re:Rural internet at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576553)

You mean AOL doesn't really put the internet in my PC?

Re:Rural internet at its best (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about 8 months ago | (#44577007)

The article title is poorly worded. A datacenter did not give the internet to 70% of the Navajo Nation.

That is just how I read it. My knee-jerk thought was to wonder how they would run my own ISP.

Made me read TFA anyway.

Re:Rural internet at its best (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 8 months ago | (#44576417)

So..you're telling me they ran their casinos all these years without proper network and computer infrastructure???

How...?

They Didn't Have Any (2)

DesertJazz (656328) | about 8 months ago | (#44576971)

They didn't have any casino's on the Navajo Nation until about two years ago. It was probably the one that held off the longest on building them, partially because they could never come to an agreement with the State of New Mexico, but mostly due to tribal opposition.

The bigger thing is that it will benefit those that have power... What many people don't realize though is that much of the reservation is like a third world country without running water or electricity!

Re:Rural internet at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576447)

Not to mention the plethora of wrecked computers to decorate their lawns alongside the car and truck carcasses!

Re:Rural internet at its best (2)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#44576697)

If they get something worth having, the white people will run them out of there and march them to some useless land. Probably Detroit.

Internet Gaming / Data Haven (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576045)

I wonder at the possibilities.

Let's hope.. (4, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | about 8 months ago | (#44576065)

I was going to say let's hope this gift doesn't come with viruses like those lousy blankets, way back when, but we know it will.

Re:Let's hope.. (0)

jonyen (2633919) | about 8 months ago | (#44576139)

And we're taking their land to build the datacenter. History repeats itself...

Re:Let's hope.. (2, Insightful)

radiumsoup (741987) | about 8 months ago | (#44576187)

who's "we", in your statement exactly? The company building the datacenter and infrastructure is owned by the Navajo Nation.

Go swallow your Liberal Guilt for a while and join the rest of us in reality. We have cake.

Re:Let's hope.. (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 8 months ago | (#44576209)

Why do you assume he's a liberal? Are there no guilt-ridden conservatives?

Re:Let's hope.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576359)

Why do you assume he's a liberal? Are there no guilt-ridden conservatives?

They're the ones attending church every Sunday to wash away the sins of the previous week. ;-)

Re:Let's hope.. (2, Interesting)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#44576465)

Most conservatives understand that smallpox lives about 24 hours on a blanket exposed to air.

The who story is mythology, designed to provoke white guilt.

Re:Let's hope.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576605)

Most conservatives understand that smallpox lives about 24 hours on a blanket exposed to air.

Are you expecting us to believe most conservatives are well versed in immunology? Half of them believe in creationism, so I'm not expecting much scientific literacy.
The who story is mythology, designed to provoke white guilt.

Bullshit. Google for "Lord Jeffrey Amherst". There are actual historic documents which detailed his intent to do it.

You're full of shit.

Re:Let's hope.. (4, Interesting)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#44576857)

The professor that built his whole carrier on this story and was about to have to eat crow, miraculously found a diary entry to back up his version. He still won't let anybody else examine the diary. He's full of shit.

So his story now is 'Even if smallpox couldn't live on blankets, they _were_ trying to use blankets to spread it.'

Even if what he saying is true. White people still didn't use blankets to spread smallpox. It's virologically impossible. Smallpox traveled around the world in infected people, same as the aggressive new world syphilis.

Re:Let's hope.. (2)

radiumsoup (741987) | about 8 months ago | (#44576493)

well, that one's easy: Liberal Guilt (as I have labelled it here, in capitals) is derived from other people's collective actions or inactions and not on the actions or inactions of the person feeling guilty... Conservative Guilt, then, would be derived from what the individual feeling guilty does or doesn't do. It's a pretty consistent pattern on both fronts. One can have both, although not usually on the same topic.

Re:Let's hope.. (0)

haruchai (17472) | about 8 months ago | (#44577141)

If you're right, I think the equivalent for Liberal Guilt would be Conservative Denial. In America, that would be the about slavery.
One person I conversed with ( here on Slashdot?? ) a couple years back even blamed slavery in the US on black people because of a Virginia case where one black man sued for another to be awarded to him as his personal slave in perpetuity.

Re:Let's hope.. (3, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 8 months ago | (#44576643)

Are there no guilt-ridden conservatives?

No. They always believe they're right, facts be damned.

Re:Let's hope.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576887)

Why do you assume he's a liberal? Are there no guilt-ridden conservatives?

I believe that's what they call one of those oxy-morons!

Re:Let's hope.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576335)

You must be an extreme right wingnut. Normal people know what liberal actually means.

Re:Let's hope.. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576591)

Yes we do and it means scumbag, ignorant, disease, bigot...you name the filth. F-you people who keep picking on anything different or something you don't understand like Church and religion. FU you /. bigoted fukers.

Re: Let's hope.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576779)

The term has been redefined. You know, the whole evolving language thing. Very similar to how the word 'gay' was evolved by a determined minority.

also goal of 2009 stimulus program (2)

peter303 (12292) | about 8 months ago | (#44576067)

To bring broadband to every high school in the country, especially rural ones. Sort of like the 1930s rural electrification initiative. Neighboring communities and business could jpiggy back on the school broadband. I do not know how well this succeeded in the past four years.

Re:also goal of 2009 stimulus program (1)

0racle (667029) | about 8 months ago | (#44576097)

Probably about as well as every other telecom bill since 1996 designed to basically do the same thing.

Re:also goal of 2009 stimulus program (4, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | about 8 months ago | (#44576143)

Exactly.

The problem is that like every other program like this, is that there is no real penalty for NOT doing what you were granted money to do. So you have all kinds of fly-by-night companies appying for and receiving grants, but they don't do anything except do studies and pay themselves. Nothing ever gets built, because it's quicker to take the money and run.

Rural broadband will only happen when the federal government does it THEMSELVES. Trying to get the "free market" to do things like this is impossible.

Re:also goal of 2009 stimulus program (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576217)

Nova corp isn't some fly-by-night company though; I've actually consulted with them (they were looking to upgrade the nation's slot machines from old mechanical ones to new digital card-based models, and open some new casinos). That said, they're run by Navaho nobility, with all the kickbacks, inaction and nepotism such political ties entail. They did get things done, however, which is more than I can say for the US government's attempts in the area.

Re:also goal of 2009 stimulus program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576579)

Yes, nothing says that the Tribe is working to eliminate poverty quite so much as their drive to upgrade from old mechanical slot machines to spiffy new digital slot machines. Oh, and opening more casinos in an effort to suck even more money from their non-tribal neighbors.

Plus, I can't help but wonder why their new IT facility is located in Albquirky which is roughly 100 miles from any part of the reservation.

And on the subject of what the US government attempts to do for tribe members, you need only look at the annual budgets of the BIA and IHS. Do you get free healthcare from the US government? Does the US government fund your local court system, law enforcement, child welfare, disaster relief, and road building, while also letting you declare yourself a member of a sovereign nation? Does the US government free you from restrictive state and local laws governing things such as casino placement in areas where non-tribal citizens are prohibited from doing so?

Didn't think so.

Re:also goal of 2009 stimulus program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576277)

Exactly.

The problem is that like every other program like this, is that there is no real penalty for NOT doing what you were granted money to do. So you have all kinds of fly-by-night companies appying for and receiving grants, but they don't do anything except do studies and pay themselves. Nothing ever gets built, because it's quicker to take the money and run.

Rural broadband will only happen when the federal government does it THEMSELVES. Trying to get the "free market" to do things like this is impossible.

Woo hoo. The Navajo Nation now has access to Facebook, YouTube, and Netflix. Woo hoo.

Please tell me what actual good "rural broadband" will do. It's not a cost-effective way to get educational material to the 3 kids who'd use it.

More and better porn?

Re:also goal of 2009 stimulus program (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576475)

Woo hoo. The Navajo Nation now has access to Facebook, YouTube, and Netflix. Woo hoo.

Please tell me what actual good "rural broadband" will do. It's not a cost-effective way to get educational material to the 3 kids who'd use it.

Maybe the Navajo Nation will decide to utilize the data centre and broadband connectivity to promote the history of their people thereby educating their own children as well as anyone else with a connection to the World Wide Web. And the inclusion of a business incubator as part of the data centre facility can be leveraged to increase employment opportunities for their people. The nepotism and political / ruling family corruption poses serious problems but then the white man has dealt with the same problem without much success so we should encourage the Navajo to set a positive example in homage to their ancestors. Maybe that angle will succeed where all else has failed.

Re:also goal of 2009 stimulus program (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576655)

Coursera, canvas, EdX, HarvardX, BerkeleyX, Lumen, MITX, MyCoreCourse,RiceX, SAP, Otis, Padagogische, Saylor, OSU, Taylor, TsinghuaX, EVERY FUCKING STATE SCHOOL, XYZ, and that's just from googling MOOC. Fuck off with your ignorance and idiocy.

Re:also goal of 2009 stimulus program (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 8 months ago | (#44576245)

Generally tribal land is administered separately, due to its quasi-autonomous status, so they wouldn't be covered under the "regular" rural-broadband programs. However the federal government could choose to give them equivalent subsidies via the Bureau of Indian Affairs to manage themselves, which seems like what's happening here.

Title parse error (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576083)

While the title isn't really misleading, I had to read it three times to realize this wasn't some grand upheaval of those "give the internet controls to the UN" debates that show up now and then.

On the other hand, I wonder what the internet would be like if all the control agencies were run by Navajo.

In unrelated news (0, Flamebait)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 8 months ago | (#44576089)

Every liquor store in the region just set up a website.

Re:In unrelated news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576117)

Every liquor store in the region just set up a website.

Wow, your mom called, and she said you're grounded and need to go upstairs to have your mouth washed out with soap. You also can't play with your toy light-saber.

Stereotype much, asshole?

Re:In unrelated news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576197)

Stereotype much, asshole?

Ever been on a reservation, there Billy Jack?

Re:In unrelated news (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576211)

Stereotype much, asshole?

Being a stereotype does not inherently make something false.

Re: In unrelated news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576851)

Hey homophobe? Did you know that historically, "asshole" is an anti-gay pejorative?

Ah, Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576179)

Ah, Slashdot... where if you can't say something on-topic, you can always say something racist.

Re:Ah, Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576671)

Ah, Internet. . . where if you can't say something on-topic, you can always say something racist.

hmmm.. casino investment? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576093)

How about they put that casino loophole [wikipedia.org] to good use and pay for their own goddamned infractructure.

And no, before anybody starts, they weren't 'always here' [wikipedia.org] .

I think some state / federal laws stop that (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 8 months ago | (#44576221)

I got a on line survey from Potawatomi Bingo Casino about on line gameing it say that at this time they can't have a on line casino.

Re:hmmm.. casino investment? (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 8 months ago | (#44576297)

Well you started it AC. So let's see, their ancestors crossed the Bering Strait 20,000 years ago. Where were your ancestors back then?

I guess you have made a very strong case for Africa for Africans since THOSE were "always there".

But no-one else has a historic claim to their lands, right?

Re:hmmm.. casino investment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576393)

So let's see, their ancestors crossed the Bering Strait 20,000 years ago. Where were your ancestors back then?

I don't know where they were back then. But 19,000 years later they were inventing gunpowder and ships.

Re:hmmm.. casino investment? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#44576583)

Right. Find someone with something of value and take it.

Re:hmmm.. casino investment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576683)

Kind of like Indian casinos.

Re:hmmm.. casino investment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576821)

Right. Find someone with something of value and take it.

Plants took the oxygen and carbon from the land, water and air.
Fish took the land from Plants.
Mammals took the land from lizards.
Chimps killed off other chimps to take their land.
Chimps hunt and kill other hunters from killing and eating chimps.
Lions kill cheetah (and other lion's) cubs to discourage food competition.
Africans took the Mideast and rest of the world (Antartic aside) from bears, wolves and mammoths.
NA "Indians"/aka Siberians took the land bridge and took Canada and the New World.
Apache, Sioux, etc fought and took stuff from themselves.
China failed to take the New World (failed, since they claim they went there first relative to Euros).
Europe&UK took the New World from the Native American/Indians, them fought amongst themselves some more.
Americans/USians/etc fought our colonial masters and mostly won.

Find stuff of value and taking it seems to be a pretty good behavior for a species in competition with other species. Developing teeth, claws, speed, flight, poison, camouflage and optimally, thumbs and gunpowder has been a time tested solution to species survival. Not doing so failed Dodo. Developing tasty flesh without poison spines nominally worked well for Cows, Chickens, Corn, Wheat and Rice too, but it sucks for the 99%+ individuals involved in consumption.

Am I saying we're no better than animals? No, I think we are more efficient at animal behavior.

Re:hmmm.. casino investment? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#44576413)

Well you started it AC. So let's see, their ancestors crossed the Bering Strait 20,000 years ago. Where were your ancestors back then?

I guess you have made a very strong case for Africa for Africans since THOSE were "always there".

But no-one else has a historic claim to their lands, right?

I've seen plenty of "American Holocaust" deniers in my time, but this AC is the first, I believe, to try and justify their ancestors actions by bringing up literal ancient history.

Re:hmmm.. casino investment? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#44576649)

But no-one else has a historic claim to their lands, right?

Not if WalMart wants it.

Re:hmmm.. casino investment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576435)

No but we were sure as hell here before your outcast, religious nut, convict ancestors.

Re:hmmm.. casino investment? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 8 months ago | (#44576531)

How about they put that casino loophole [wikipedia.org] to good use and pay for their own goddamned infractructure.

And no, before anybody starts, they weren't 'always here' [wikipedia.org] .

Casino investment is what Nova's been using prior funds for. I see this datacentre as a positive change.

Re:hmmm.. casino investment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576839)

Casino investment is what Nova's been using prior funds for. I see this datacentre as a positive change.

More likely, just another way to pad the pockets of the notoriously corrupt Navajo leadership.

Sounds racist to me... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576099)

See for yourself:

"White people cut the ribbon August 13 on an $8 million data center that has been under debate and development since 2000, when then-President Bill Clinton expressed shock that a 13-year-old white girl who just won a new laptop couldn't connect to the Internet. At the time that girl won the laptop in a school contest, the white community--a 27,425 square-mile region that covers portions of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico--had barely any IT infrastructure. The incident helped drive debate among leaders of the whites, many of whom said they believed adding telecommunications and computing facilities were secondary to other concerns for the chronically poverty stricken region. The 50,000-square-foot facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico includes 25,000-sq.-ft. of datacenter and an equal space for computer training and business incubation, according to Nova Corp., an IT services company owned by white people and formed in 2004 to execute an IT plan to create the "Digital White Nation" (PDF). The drive to get it built also helped push development of a $46 million broadband project designed to cover about half of white territory with 550 miles of fiber, 32 new cell towers and upgrades to another 27. It will eventually connect more than 30,000 households and 1,000 businesses."

Navajo Nation (3, Insightful)

Latent Heat (558884) | about 8 months ago | (#44576177)

My understanding is that the Navajo Nation is as much a valid political entity as, say, the State of Wisconsin. Navajo Nation is almost but not completely unlike one of the 50 states in our Federal system. So if you Find and Replace "Wisconsin" into the parent post, it doesn't seem at all racist.

Re:Navajo Nation (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#44576371)

I'd actually be curious to know how, if at all, the peculiar political status of certain treaty-administered reservation areas would affect a datacenter built there.

For the purposes of day-to-day jurisdiction(beat cops, that sort of thing) they are at least as distinct as a state, in some respects more. On the other hand, there are assorted BIA fed-level things, and it's sort of a tangled mess. Do Navajo servers have to respect DMCA requests? Can they run an offshore gambling operation? If somebody cracks one, are they subject to the CFAA?

Re:Navajo Nation (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#44576377)

Would they be able to let businesses like factories open there with reduced cost burdens (taxes, costly regulations) and turn themselves into a South Korea instead of a North Korea? Or do state and federal laws get in the way? Or do their councils act more like Detroit's, more concerned with their fiefdoms and kickbacks, driving people out?

That it's about resources instead of government has been disproven time and time again.

Re:Navajo Nation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576703)

So, how do I become a Navajo? I just move to Navajo territory like I could move to Wisconsin? When people ask me about my political affiliation, I should just start saying "Navajo"?

Re:Navajo Nation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44577109)

So, how do I become a Navajo?

Well, if the Navajo tribal organization does it like the Eastern Cherokee tribal organization, you have to apply. I wasn't a recognized member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians until my parents applied for me at age 5, so I wasn't really a Cherokee, no matter what my lineage (3/4, in my case), until then. Not all people of Cherokee descent are "Cherokees", but all "Cherokees" are of Cherokee descent, barring a few people with "honorable" affiliations.

I don't really remember, but I think at the time you had to be documented a certain percentage Cherokee lineage and those ancestors had to be in some early 20th century census-takers "book" before you could apply.

Re:Navajo Nation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44577093)

Except you don't get kicked out of Wisconsin when your GPS tells you to drive through it.

Re:Sounds racist to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576543)

See for yourself:

"White people cut the ribbon ...

Eastern Tennessee Cherokee here... Please stop playing the race card- I meet people that seem to delight in pointing out how racist some innoccuous statement or situation might be, when there was really no intent so much of the time. Then they get their sensitive little panties in a wad when I tell them "it really wasn't meant that way"... now, I don't appreciate them "standing up for me" -and they're suddenly offended. To you and the rest of those assholes: Go the fuck away. Really. Go join PETA and dance naked in a cage.

TFA mentioned "Navajo" in terms of the Nation; it wasn't trying to say "darker-skinned people living on a reservation". You know, I'll bet that there's a whale out there just waiting for you to save it. Hurry.

Re:Sounds racist to me... (2)

operagost (62405) | about 8 months ago | (#44576635)

Perhaps you don't know the history of the Americas, but when European settlers came they tended to push indigenous peoples out of their territory; eventually, the US government made the minimal concession of relinquishing territory in the form of reservations. The Navaho Nation is just that: an autonomous entity within the USA, organized much like similar entities within Canada. There is nothing racist about this, although the concept of a "Navajo Nation" is, by definition, both cultural and nationalist.

Consider yourself lucky that you weren't modded down to oblivion, because your thinking is a bit out of line with reality. This isn't like someone building infrastructure in a neighborhood just so the particular ethnic group in that neighborhood can use it-- you might have an argument there.

cell based = low caps with high overage charges (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 8 months ago | (#44576185)

also cell based is really that good for fixed base users aka fixed homes / offices. Also fast will it be when all users on one tower all hit YouTube at the same time?

Re: cell based = low caps with high overage charge (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 8 months ago | (#44576363)

"Also fast will it be when all users on one tower all hit YouTube at the same time?"

A rhetorical question that was, Yoda?

Re: cell based = low caps with high overage charge (1)

Alok (37687) | about 8 months ago | (#44576439)

With low population density (i.e. user base) over a large region, its far more cost effective to run a few high bandwidth lines and provide wireless service. Cellular network bandwidth isn't that bad, e.g. people use their mobiles as hotspots - in city areas, which have a far higher density of wireless signals (leading to more interference, and also less available per person).

windtalkers (3, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 8 months ago | (#44576203)

and now the NSA won't be able to read their email ...

Re:windtalkers (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 8 months ago | (#44576421)

Yeah, my first thought was "Great, we'll get the best cryptographers on the planet on the Internet now!" because the Japanese didn't even came close to figuring out what they were saying back in WWII.

Re:windtalkers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576507)

and now the NSA won't be able to read their email ...

It would be poetic justice at the very least.

Rural Sourcing (3, Funny)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#44576219)

While there is always debate about whether something like this is the best way to spend money in a poverty stricken area, one way it could help is if "rural sourcing" got started in the Navajo nation. That could include things like software development and call center work. No, it's not for everybody, but when a few people start making better money in a poverty stricken area it sometimes has a positive feed back effect. The newly employed hire someone else to work on their house or their truck, buy other local services, that sort of thing.

P.S. Now for a couple of things that you know people are dying to say (or groan about).

1. Finally, software written by real Indians.

2. In the future I want real Apaches working on the Apache server (hey, at least the Navajos are a related people).

Re:Rural Sourcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576411)

Thats funny, I thought the Apaches and Commanches were offshoots of the Sioux

Re:Rural Sourcing (5, Insightful)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 8 months ago | (#44577025)

Thats funny, I thought the Apaches and Commanches were offshoots of the Sioux

Uh, no. Apaches and Commanches are quite unrelated to the Sioux (and each other), much like, say Chinese, Turks, and Tai (even though all those folks live on the same continent too). Apache is a Na-Dene language, most of the other speakers of which live in Alaska and the NW of Canada. Commanche speak a Uto-Aztecan language [wikipedia.org] , all of whose speakers originally hail from either the Wetern US or NW Mexico.

The Siouan languages and cultures [wikipedia.org] , by contrast were found in the central USA, roughly in the Mississippi watershed (with a couple of prominent exceptions in what is now New England). And yes, they were quite different peoples. Siouxans lived on riverbanks and were basically a settled farming people before Europeans came with their diseases and horses, making Buffalo hunting a more profitable living.

The Apache and Commanche OTOH were hunters from way back (in the Apache's case, living a bit more off of raiding nearby settled communities as well). The introduction of horses basically turned them into the New World's equivalent of the Mongols and early Turks.

They may look similar to the melanin-deprived, but they are very, very different.

Re:Rural Sourcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576541)

Now for a couple of things that you know people are dying to say (or groan about).

1. Finally, software written by real Indians.

2. In the future I want real Apaches working on the Apache server (hey, at least the Navajos are a related people).

I see what you did there. But you do raise a good point about increasing the employment opportunities for "native" computer programmers and software engineers as part of this rural broadband initiative.

Broadband Problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576299)

It's great they want to connect the Navajo Nation, but the real problem is that you have many homes there that don't have running water or electricity, no less a computer. I just moved away from the area and knowing the Navajo government, this is just a project to generate more money for the government that will not go to the people. This data center will be leased out and none of the money will go to the people, or projects for the people.

Interesting ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576313)

Go do a job search on their site, specifically for IT jobs.

Ft. Meade, MD.

The Navajo are being led down the primrose path.

What they really need (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576315)

What they really need to do is fix the tribal courts. Currently, if you do business there and get into a dispute with the tribal government, you are screwed. There is no guarantee they won't throw sovereign immunity in your face and tell you to go fuck yourself. There's a reason one of the first things the US Congress ever did was waive sovereign immunity for torts and contracts. It lets you do business with the government with the assurance that they can't just take their ball and go home...you at least get your day in court.

Yeah, Native Americans got shafted for a very, very long time, but now, they are just perpetuating their own problems. ISPs won't do business on the reservations because they have zero guarantee of anything. Garbage truck backs into a utility pole? Good luck recovering damages.

Re:What they really need (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576947)

"Sovereign Immunity" is exactly how they tried to fuck over the company that financed and built that glass bridge/walkway and tourist center over the Grand Canyon.

They entered a tens of millions of dollars agreement with them and then when it came time to start paying them back, they tried to fuck them and renege on the contract. Unfortunately for them the courts sided with the company.

http://www.komonews.com/news/national/Courts-uphold-28-million-award-in-Grand-Canyon-Skywalk-case-190780991.html

New laptop? (3, Funny)

Alok (37687) | about 8 months ago | (#44576331)

That 13 year old girl doubled her lifetime waiting for the net, and her laptop may be a little bit obsolete by now - they should give her an upgrade for starting all this :)

13 years for an 8mill 50k sf data center? (1)

malakai (136531) | about 8 months ago | (#44576333)

Are we supposed to applaud this? It sounds like a boondoggle.

I read the article, and read the PDF produced by the Navajo 'IT' group. They spent the past 13 years soliciting funds from the state and federal level. This is also another E-Rate disaster [fcc.gov] ( FCC based 'broadband' initiative that also 'successfully' hooked up 9 schools in Puerto Rico for 150 million ).

Obama wants to not increase cell phone taxes to give E-Rate even more funding.....

Data Centre? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44576353)

I don't see the purpose of a data center, typically its desirable to have these near backbones where they can provide fast access as opposed to the backend of nowhere? It would be far more prudent to try and get people using AWS, AppEngine, etc. as opposed to sinking millions into an unnecessary building and equipment however much Cisco & other hardware vendors would like sell them.

That's $1483 per household/business (1)

xeos (174989) | about 8 months ago | (#44576527)

Seems like a lot to me. I tend to think that (1) it could have been done a lot cheaper (wireless?) and (2) if in fact it had to cost that much, then the money probably could have been spent better.

Great confusing title (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 8 months ago | (#44576679)

I'm thinking, "Why does one Datacenter have the power to give away control of the entire Internet, why on earth did they pick Navajo to give it to, and what did that unlucky 30% do to get left out of this sweet deal?"

Its a old newspaper trick (perfected IMHO by The Register), to use purposely confusing titles to induce the reader to read at least a bit of the article to figure out what's going on. In this case, two sentences in all was made clear, but by then I was reading. Bravo, Editors!

Fact Check.. (5, Informative)

moaneye (3020641) | about 8 months ago | (#44576831)

Just wanted to post some fact check data here. I live 10 miles from the data center, was interviewed for a position there (turned down the consequent job offer) and am friends with the data center administrator. First of all, the article is incorrect - the data center is in Shiprock New Mexico on the Navajo Nation, NOT in Albuquerque. This is a 240+ mile difference. It's a common occurance that news articles written by people outside the area tend to make. Everyone not from New Mexico thinks that Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos are the only places in New Mexico. Also, the data center was not built with grant funds. The grant funds went towards the fiber optic project. NTUA, the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, invested their own capital to build the data center. In fact, what the ariticle does not make clear is that NTUA houses and manages the data center. What makes this unusual is that NTUA is the utility for the Navajo Nation (water, sewer, electricity, etc.). Building and running a data center is a little out of their core compentencies. Having said that, however, they've done an impressive job. The data center is state of the art and well built. They have power feeds from two different bulk electric utilities, two massive backup generators, two buildings of UPSs, and a state-of-the art NOC. What they don't have, in my humble opinion, is a completely fleshed out marketing team. But then I don't know exactly what their marketing strategy is anyway. As far as being racist goes, the only comment I've seen so far which I would say is blatantly racist is the one about "every liquor store in the region" putting up a website. That's kind of harsh, and is a really bad sterotype. Again, however, that's just my opinion. This is a free country after all.
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