This initiative hopes to provide high-quality broadband to underprivileged residents.

Navajo County and eX² Technology partner on Middle Mile Network
Photo courtesy of eX² Technology

April 26, 2024—The Navajo County Board of Supervisors and communications infrastructure group eX² Technologies announced Tuesday the start of construction on a new 100-mile open access dark fiber middle mile network in the northeastern Arizona region. .

Navajo County includes portions of the Hopi Indian Reservation, Navajo Nation, and Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

The new infrastructure is intended to improve broadband quality in Navajo County, according to a press release. The new network aims to enhance access to fiber optics, telemedicine and education for local governments.

“Recognizing the need for reliable, affordable internet and improved broadband provision, the County commissioned a Broadband Strategic Plan in early 2021 and now, in collaboration with eX² Technology, we We are excited to build the Middle Mile fiber optic broadband system,” said Navajo County Chairman. Jason E. Whiting Said,.

“This network will help ensure continuity of county operations and provide reliable connectivity to residents and businesses for years to come,” he said.

According to a press release, the contract is for 20 years. The network will also interlink with other networks in the region, including Arizona and New Mexico.

“This open-access Middle Mile backbone will serve as an economic growth engine for Navajo County, ensuring underserved communities in the region have access to high-speed internet,” he said. Jay JorgensenChief Operating Officer of eX² Technology.

The Arizona Department of Commerce awarded Navajo County a $9.7 million Arizona Rural Broadband Development Grant. The county already has $10 million in funding earmarked for broadband expansion under the American Rescue Plan Act.

“I am grateful to the governor.” [Katie] hobbes We thank her for her leadership and all of our partners.” sandra watsonPresident and CEO of the Arizona Department of Commerce.

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