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Albuquerque-Gallup fiber line unveiled

Crews work to install the Sacred Wind redundant fiber line that runs between Albuquerque and Gallup. The line ensures that rural communities living between Albuquerque and Gallup will receive reliable internet service. (Courtesy Sacred Wind Communications)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rural telecommunications company Sacred Wind Communications announced completion of the first-ever redundant fiber line connecting Albuquerque and Gallup Wednesday morning at a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony.

“The pandemic has skyrocketed the demand for broadband across the country and our territory is no exception,” Sacred Wind CEO John Badal said.

Badal said the new line ensures connectivity for hospitals and point of sale devices while also ensuring access to emergency services.

The yearslong project enables rural and tribal communities between the two cities to have access to reliable and faster internet service, he said. Fiber redundancy provides multiple cable routes to a customer so connectivity is not affected should a fiber line fail.

Badal said that prior to the completion of the line, areas along the route experienced outages over the past several years.

“It’s already providing much higher capacity to our part of New Mexico,” Badal said.

Funding for the project came from a $13.8 million low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service.

Sacred Wind has focused on providing telecommunication access to communities in rural New Mexico with particular attention on increasing internet access for people on the Navajo reservation.

Attendees of the virtual ceremony included Sen. Ben Ray Luján and former Sen. Tom Udall, who both praised the completion of the line.

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