November 23, 2007
Conterra Ultra Broadband and CellularOne of Arizona Announce Joint Effort to Eliminate the Digital Divide on the Navajo Nation
CHARLOTTE, N.C. and SHOW LOW, Ariz., Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Conterra Ultra Broadband, LLC., a national provider of high speed, high capacity broadband transport services primarily in suburban and rural market areas, and CellularOne of Arizona, the largest provider of cellular telephony and microwave broadband transport in the Four Corners region, today announced the creation of a joint marketing and engineering effort; partnering with the Navajo Nation to deliver the largest broadband and data transport effort across their tribal lands.
The two companies and a proposed tribal corporation will undertake development of an IP-based Ethernet network providing middle and last-mile wireless solutions for cellular voice/data and broadband, as well as high capacity bandwidth to tribal communities, businesses, schools, and other institutions. As opposed to the current regulatory environment that discourages network collocation, the new strategy will encourage infrastructure sharing by the public and private sector in order to maximize all available telecommunications facilities on Navajo Lands, as well as co- develop additional facilities necessary to extend services.
The goals of the partnership include simplifying regulatory permitting for providers, increasing telecommunications ownership and revenue for the tribe, and expanding competition by maintaining an open-source network available to accommodate multiple providers. The partnership will make use of CellularOne's state of the art microwave backhaul network, which covers all of the Nation, and Conterra's expertise in rural last-mile solutions to make available high quality IP-based Ethernet connectivity at reasonable rates and within weeks rather than years.
Harold Skow, the Director of Information Technology for the Navajo Nation believes this new strategy will finally resolve the "Digital Divide" that stifles progress and economic development for tribal residents. "The Department of Information Technology has a keen interest in building an effective working alliance with outside private providers in order to faster implement network infrastructure across our Navajo Lands.
According to Richard Watkins, COO of CellularOne, the new partnership will permit the Navajo Nation to reach the next level in achieving telecommunications parity with the rest of America. "CellularOne was proud to partner with the Navajo Nation in 2001 in order to introduce the first voice communications in many remote areas and is now excited to assist in developing high speed network infrastructure that will deliver the first broadband services."
"This project will leverage the expertise of two highly experienced, committed companies to deliver a level of service long missing from parts of the country that most need modern telecommunications," commented Conterra's Chairman, President and CEO, Stephen R. Leeolou. "The depth and diversity of our companies have created a foundation from which we can jointly pursue what we believe is a cresting wave of demand throughout the Nation for broadband telecom services at quantum increases in capacity and speed and affordable prices," added Leeolou.
About Conterra Ultra Broadband, LLC.
Conterra Ultra Broadband, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is a national provider of facilities-based broadband services for schools, wireless carriers and select enterprises that require bandwidth intensive, carrier-grade data, video and voice transport services primarily in outer suburban and rural markets.
Privately owned, Conterra was established by the founders and members of management of Vanguard Cellular Systems, Inc., which became one of the first and largest independent cellular companies in the United States. Started in 1982, Vanguard designed, built and operated its own point-to-point microwave transport systems to support wireless voice and data traffic within its cellular networks throughout the country which are now part of AT&T Wireless. For more information about Conterra, visit http://www.conterra.com/ or call: 800-634-1374.
About Smith Bagley, Inc. dba CellularOne
CellularOne, headquartered in Show Low, Arizona, is a wireless GSM voice and data provider covering the Four Corners region, including the Navajo, White Mountain Apache, Hopi and Zuni Reservations. CellularOne is rapidly expanding its licensed microwaving network throughout its market in order to support its GPRS/EDGE technology for high speed mobile data access and broadband/data transport services.
In 1994, CellularOne relocated their Atlanta, Georgia operations to Show Low, Arizona with an "A" Band license for cellular phone service in Navajo and Apache Counties in Arizona. In expansion since that time, the company has been awarded (PCS) "E" Band licensing which includes Farmington, New Mexico, Durango, Colorado and southern Utah, and "F" Band licensing to include Tuba City and Page in Coconino County, Arizona. CellularOne was granted status of (ETC) Eligible Telecommunications Carrier in December 2000; permitting the use of federal "Lifeline" support for subsidized cellular phone service. It currently is one of the most successful wireless ETC providers serving tribal and non-tribal lands in the southwest. For more information about CellularOne, visit http://www.cellularoneonline.com/ or call 866-445-7282.
Conterra Ultra Broadband, LLC.
CONTACT: Jason Adkins, EVP, Sales & Marketing, +1-704-365-6701,[email protected]; or Kelley Boan, Region Manager, Southwest & RockyMountains, +1-443-742-6379, [email protected], both of Conterra UltraBroadband, LLC.; or Brian Gilbert, Director of Network Services ofCellularOne,+1-928-537-0690, [email protected]; or Harold Skow, Director ofInformation Technology of Navajo Nation, +1-928-871-6002,[email protected]
Web site: http://www.conterra.com/http://www.cellularoneonline.com/