Poverty and Public Health
Mon March 25, 2013
Navajo Nation Takes Final Steps To Broadband Access
The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority says it's in the final phases of unveiling high-speed broadband and wireless services for the majority of the Navajo Nation. The project would bring telecommunications services to the nations largest reservation straddling Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.
A few companies have offered broadband accessibility to parts of the Navajo Nation in the past, however, historically, the Nation has dealt with little to no telecommunications access.
Through a 32-million dollar stimulus grant from the US Department of of Commerce and the National telecommunications and Information Administration awarded in 2010. The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, or NTUA, has been able to build a fiber optic network and cellular infrastructure for nearly 80% of Nation.
"Native America has always been considered as being 20 steps behind counterparts, and this is the first time that Indian Country that we're actually 20 steps ahead in terms of offering 4g, broadband, wireless connectivity on Native land," says Denise Becenti of the NTUA.
"Physicians and healthcare personal throughout the nation will be able to utilize telecommunications for telemedicine, schools, children and teacher will have the best internet technology possible," says Becenti. "Navajo Nation chapters and communities will have a more reliable internet and broadband connectivity."
Broadband and 4G cell access is expected to impact over 30-thousand households and over a thousand businesses when complete. Becenti expects the network to be up and running for Navajo citizens by mid-summer.