Channel partner Telamon, along with equipment vendor Ciena, is working with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.

Channel Partners

October 11, 2011

4 Min Read
Case Study: Systems Integrator Key to Helping Navajo Nation Get High-Speed Broadband

The Client. The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) is a non-profit company that provides electric, water, sewer, natural gas and renewable energy services to residents and businesses throughout the Navajo Nation the largest Indian reservation in the United States spread across 27,000 square miles in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The NTUA operates its own communications infrastructure, including a wide area network, local area networks, and data centers and telephone systems. However, company officials wanted to bolster that telecom reach with a broadband network that would offer voice, video, data and wireless access to residents and businesses. Not only would this improve locals daily lives, but it would create more economic opportunities for them as well.

The Challenge. The NTUA funded its broadband network initiative thanks to a $46 million grant awarded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The money was set aside for the construction of a 550-mile fiber-optic network, and the installation of 59 microwave towers to provide fixed and mobile broadband connectivity throughout the Navajo Nation.

Still, the deployment presented a number of challenges, and officials and engineers knew they couldnt tackle the project alone. Given the reservations rugged terrain, harsh climate and, perhaps most importantly, significant poverty more than 60 percent of Navajo Nation residents do not have basic telephone service the NTUA would need an experienced systems integrator. That channel partner also had to be able to help develop the network to handle various carrier, institutional and administrative user groups, including:

  • Systems for managing the Navajo Nations electric, water and gas distribution networks

  • Voice, video and data for local government, community and chapter houses

  • Wireless backhaul for mobile network operators serving the reservation

  • Medical imaging and telemedicine for hospitals and health clinics

  • Distance learning for K-12 schools, Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, and community colleges to link to the University of New Mexico

  • Emergency 911 for public safety organizations

The Solution. First, NTUA found the right experts to help it design and implement the new network. The company chose value-added distributor Telamon Corp. as its systems integrator, and Ciena Corp. as its key gear supplier. Telamon has been a Ciena BizConnect partner since 1996.  

Next, the three entities had to decide which Ciena equipment to use. They opted for Cienas 4200 Advanced Services Platform, 6130 Multiservice Optical Platform, 3960 Service Aggregation Switch, 5150 Service Aggregation Switch and 3911 Service Delivery Switch. Each component is managed from Cienas OneControl Unified Management System software. Finally, end-users will have wireless access of between 1mbps and 3mbps through the projects wireless partner, Commnet Wireless.

Now, Telamon is combining Cienas infrastructure products with its own services including engineering and integration; configuration and testing; field survey and installation; field testing and turn-up; operations training to NTUA employees and contractors; and maintenance and support.

The Result. The NTUAs new fiber network will bring high-speed wireless, Internet and other broadband services to as many as 30,000 households, 1,000 businesses, and 1,100 community anchor institutions, including public safety, health and social services, schools, and emergency care facilities across the Navajo Nation. The project also will encourage area service providers to connect to an open network so they, too, can deliver affordable voice, video, data and wireless services at speeds from 10mbps to 10gbps.

And while NTUAs undertaking already has created jobs for people living on the reservation, its network further will help speed up economic development within the Navajo Nation; the new network and capabilities should encourage businesses to bring more employment opportunities into the region.

We’re building a high-speed packet optical network that will spur economic growth by improving Internet access for the Navajo Nation,” said Theresa Caragol, vice president of global alliances and partners at Ciena.

Perhaps most importantly, though, the NTUA network will give residents information and applications that will help them access quality education, health care and other resources.

The NTUAs new high-speed broadband network, along with advanced 4G wireless services, will bring sorely needed broadband service to the Navajo Nation, providing greater opportunity to the Navajo People for economic development and to improve quality of life for residents throughout the region,” said Rob Sterrenberg, vice president and general manager of the optical networks division for Telamon.

Read more about:

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like