The speed of digital communication between the University of New Mexico-Gallup and the South Campus at Zuni just got a whole lot faster. With the recent completion of a microwave relay beamed from Gibson Peak north of Gallup, to Black Rock on the east edge of Zuni, students, faculty and staff at UNM-Gallup's Zuni campus now enjoy access to the internet at speeds 100 times faster than ever have before.

"Everything from email to e-learning tools is suddenly at our fingertips" said Bruce Klewer, Zuni campus manager. "Students can now easily gain access to distance learning classes taught from UNM-Gallup or UNM Albuquerque. IT professionals can also now maintain equipment from the Gallup campus without having to drive 74 miles round trip to Zuni."

The Zuni microwave link is the culmination of a year-long collaboration between UNM-Gallup, UNM-Albuquerque's IT division (IT@UNM), and the Navajo Nation and Navajo Technical College's "Internet to the Hogan" project. Navajo Technical College, through a grant from the National Science Foundation, and UNM-Gallup, jointly funded the $315,000 project.

"This was a very important investment for us," said Wynn Goering, interim executive director of UNM-Gallup. "Both the Zuni connection, and the fact that it also increases our connectivity to the main campus, dramatically increase the quality and quantity of what we can do here."

UNM-Gallup, IT@UNM and Navajo Technical College will hold a press conference on October 11 at the South Campus at Zuni to discuss the collaboration and also to showcase the newly developed broadband network infrastructure.