Navajo County and eX² Technology Team Up on Middle Mile Network


The initiative hopes to provide underprivileged residents with high-quality broadband

Corey Walker Navajo County and eX² Technology Team Up on Middle Mile Network Photo from eX² Technology

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

Navajo County contains parts of the Hopi Indian reservation, the Navajo Nation, and Fort Apache Indian Reservation. 

The new infrastructure aims to enhance the broadband quality of Navajo County, according to the press release. The new network aims to bolster access to municipal fiber, telehealth and education. 

“Recognizing a need for reliable, affordable internet and improved broadband offerings, the County commissioned a Broadband Strategic Plan in early 2021, and we’re now excited to be working with eX² Technology to construct a middle-mile fiber optic broadband system,” Navajo County Chairman Jason E. Whiting said,.

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

The agreement is for 20 years, according to the press release. 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, enabling access to high-speed internet for the region’s underserved communities,” said Jay Jorgensen, chief operating officer of at eX² Technology.

The Arizona Commerce Authority gave Navajo County a $9.7 million Rural Arizona Broadband Development Grant. The county already possessed $10 million in funds earmarked for broadband expansion from the American Rescue Plan Act. 

“We are grateful to Governor [Katie] Hobbs for her leadership and all our partners,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority.