Navajo Tribal Utility Authority Inks $4 Million Deal to Power Wireless Transmissions, Expand Internet Access

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) has ordered $4 million worth of network services from Ceragon Networks Ltd., a wireless backhaul specialist, according to a Ceragon press release.

Ceragon will supply “microwave backhaul solutions”—essentially electromagnetic energy with a very high frequency—and turnkey services, including installation, project management and commissioning, to operate and power the Navajo Nation’s wireless transmission line. The systems connect a more than 530-mile network, which is made up of microwave towers and fiber optics.

A 2010 federal grant awarded by the National Telecommunications Infrastructure Administration to establish broadband connectivity within the Navajo Nation will partially fund the project. The federal grants were created to expand broadband Internet access and adoption across America, bridging the “digital divide.”

Expanded Internet access will enhance connection for residents in the Four Corners Region, which the Navjo Nation anticipates will spur job creation and improvements in education, healthcare and public safety resources.

“With the installation of the network, more than 15,000 miles of the 27,000 square miles of the Navajo Nation will be served,” Lester Lee, telecommunications manager for NTUA, said in the press release. “The selection of Ceragon is expected to enable NTUA to quickly provide needed broadband connectivity throughout the majority of the Navajo Nation.”

The NTUA is the largest multi-service utility owned and operated by an American Indian Tribe. NTUA supplies and extends electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater treatment, renewable energy and telecommunications services to homes and businesses throughout the Navajo Reservation  and neighboring communities.

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