Commnet Broadband said today that it plans to acquire Sacred Wind Enterprises, a move that would unite two broadband providers focused on serving tribal areas.
Commnet Broadband, a subsidiary of ATN International, traditionally has focused on the wholesale market in tribal and other rural areas, but more recently has begun expanding its network to serve consumers and businesses directly.
Sacred Wind, founded in 2006, provides fixed wireless and fiber broadband to the Navajo Nation and neighboring areas of New Mexico. The company won funding through the Connect America Fund (CAF II) auction and is a partner with Microsoft in Microsoft’s Airband initiative, which is focused on bringing connectivity, relying in large part on TV white spaces spectrum, to unserved rural areas.
The Commnet Sacred Wind acquisition requires FCC and other approvals and is expected to close in “the next several months,” according to a press release.
The companies will maintain their names and brands in the market, Commnet said.
“Sacred Wind has an excellent reputation serving consumers and businesses in New Mexico through its fiber-based network,” said Tom Guthrie, CEO of Commnet Broadband, in the press release. “The Sacred Wind team has a philosophy that matches our own and augments our capacity for developing bandwidth infrastructure in the Southwest.”
Guthrie also noted that Sacred Wind currently has a “healthy backlog of fiber builds to grow their regional footprint and bring a pipeline of additional projects at various stages of maturity.”
Earlier this month, Commnet announced that it would build a portion of the AT&T FirstNet first responder mobile network in the Navajo Nation. Also partnering on the project are NTUA and NTUA Wireless, two other subsidiaries of ATN International.