Nearly free cell phone service offered

WINSLOW- If you live on or around the Navajo Nation, you may be eligible to receive a cell phone and service for extremely cheap, thanks to Cellular One's Vision One Program. Members of area tribes may qualify for receiving a phone, plus 500 minutes a month for 3.5 years at a total one-time cost of $48. Non-tribal members who qualify pay $38 for the same deal, but with only 150 minutes a month.

Cellular One announced this ongoing program during their grand opening in Winslow last week.

"I tell all Native Americans that we can thank Bill Clinton for this because there are no telephone land lines on the reservation," said Darlene Shirley, assistant manager of Cellular One.

She said to install phone lines across the reservation would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, so the federal government worked out a subsidy to offset the lack of service in the area.

Winslow is actually included in this Vision One program area and its boundary circles Page, Aztec, N.M., Crownpoint, N.M., Alpine, to Whiteriver, Heber and back.

Anyone within this area must be enrolled in the following programs to qualify: Low Income; Tribal General Assistance; Supplemental Security Income; AHCCCS; Medicaid; Federal Public Housing Assistance; National School Free Lunch Program; Head Start; Food Stamps; TANF; WIC; Kids Care or the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Once located in the old Wal-Mart, Cellular One was not asked to move into the new Wal-Mart Supercenter because the retail giant supplied its own provider.

"We had been in Winslow for five years and we wanted to stay in Winslow, so we decided to open this new store," said Rich Jones, Cellular One district manager. "This new location is bigger and more comfortable. Once the underpass opens, things will be good."

He said Cellular One is based out of Show Low and has the greatest amount of service to this area of the county and is a good reason to use their service.

Cellular One has many plans and new phones available at their new location, including a new form of high-speed wireless internet.

To find out more about Vision One or regular cellular service, the Winslow Cellular One is located at 1517 N. Park Drive, in the Safeway Shopping Center. (928) 289-9620.

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