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Tribal telecommunications network upgrades infrastructure after 2022 power failure

Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

Saddleback Communications, founded in 1997 by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, has spent $2 million modernizing its infrastructure.

Last August, an internal power failure affecting all 500 business and 1,500 residential customers prompted the company to make the new investment, according to its president, Bill Bryant.

"We started really examining in fine detail the status of all of our power and environmental infrastructure," Bryant said. "We said, 'You know what, we’re just gonna go to all of the newest technology.’”

New batteries, condenser and AC systems and other upgrades are meant to strengthen the network from future disruptions.

"There’s always a great deal more to do," Bryant added.

Many of those renovations have already been completed, but the rest will be finished during the 2024 fiscal year.

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Gabriel Pietrorazio is a correspondent who reports on tribal natural resources for KJZZ.