Navajo partners with Arcadian Infracom to finance optical communications

Members of the 24th Council of the Navajo Nation and Arcadian Infracom representatives present the first revenue-sharing check, left to right: Arcadian co-founder Derek Garnier; Carlyle Begay; Delegate Edison J. Wauneka; Delegate Edmund Yazzie; Navajo Nation Lands Department Director Mike Halona; Delegate Thomas Walker Jr.; DRC President Rickie Nez; Arcadian CEO and co-founder Dan Davis; Andrew Deihl; and President Seth Damon.

WINDOW ROCK, AZ – President Seth Damon and Resources and Development Committee Chairman Rickie Nez welcomed visiting Arcadian Infracom officials to celebrate the presentation of $15,500 in funds to fund the first communications network fiber optic scale along Navajo Nation rights-of-way.

“The need for more sustainable Internet access in the Navajo Nation has always been a recurring issue, and I am pleased to report that through this strategic partnership, the 24th Council of the Navajo Nation can provide real solutions not only to our people but also to the surrounding communities,” President Damon said.

Joined by Thomas Walker Jr., Delegate Nez accepted the first revenue-sharing check from Dan Davis, CEO and co-founder of Arcadian. Others in attendance included Derek Garnier, co-founder of Arcadian, and Andrew Deihl, head of private infrastructure business at Nuveen.

“I appreciate the efforts of the Council and Arcadian Infracom for their partnership which will have much more positive impacts in our communities and for the Navajo Nation,” said Delegate Nez. “The Navajo Nation urgently needs to generate more revenue as we navigate unprecedented times and Mr. Davis and his company will help jump-start the revitalization of our economy.”

The fiber project will connect the Navajo Nation to Phoenix, AZ, then Salt Lake City, UT, as well as Denver, CO, and Los Angeles, CA. Through construction of this project, the Navajo Nation will be able to have a greater presence on the world stage through improved high-speed Internet access.

In 2018, the Resources and Development Committee of the 23rd Council of the Navajo Nation passed Resolution No. RDCAU-32-20, which approved the granting of rights-of-way and leases for all communication purposes to Acadians for an initial term of 50 years with two successive renewals of 20 years. Under the direction of President Damon and President Nez, the legislation was revised in 2020 to create a direct partnership between the Navajo Nation and Arcadian which enhanced and expanded the partnership to cover additional fiber constructions.

The development of the Fiber project will enable high-speed broadband access sufficient to support data-intensive applications such as high-quality video transmission. This more direct access to fiber optics that crosses the Navajo Nation will improve telehealth, education, business and commercial opportunities for Navajo Nation residents, which will create new jobs and skills for Navajo residents.

As compensation for the use of the rights-of-way for this fiber project, Arcadian will pay the Navajo Nation an amount equal to a three percent share of all collected revenue generated by the Navajo Nation portions of the project. Additionally, Arcadian will provide dark fiber as well as 400 gigabits of bandwidth to the Navajo Nation for each major market connected to the fiber partnership routes (Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles) and 400 gigabits to NTUA of lit capacity separated at a point on the course.

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