NTUA expands broadband access for students, first responders using CARES Act funds
CHINLE, Ariz. — Navajo Tribal Utility Authority marked the expansion of broadband access for students, first responders and residents using Cares Act funds by completing new equipment installation on existing towers in the communities of Chinle and Tsaile/Wheatfields in Arizona.
The projects were funded with a $32 million CARES Act allocation approved by the 24th Navajo Nation Council and signed into law by President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer Aug. 16. The funds are being used to construct several more towers on the Navajo Nation because of the efforts of NTUA and other partners to meet the CARES Act deadline.
“These projects will provide long-term benefits to help families, students of all ages with online learning, first responders during emergency situations, businesses, and many others,” Nez said. “When we work together from the local level on up, NTUA has shown that projects can be expedited and completed quickly. I commend the NTUA work crews and management for their tremendous work to make positive changes in our communities. Not only is NTUA working on broadband expansion projects, but they have also connected over 343 families to the electric grid and continue to work on developing more water resources and wastewater infrastructure during this COVID-19 pandemic.”
On Oct. 9, the Nez-Lizer Administration approved an additional $15 million in CARES Act funds to provide more internet access. The completed projects will also benefit many Navajo students who are enrolled with Diné College and Navajo Technical University, which have campuses located in Tsaile/Wheatfields and Chinle.
“I thank everyone who laid their hands to this great work so that our Nation can move forward and continue developing our communities, expanding more opportunities for the education of our students, and increasing communication capacity for first responders. The CARES Act funds are making a difference on the Navajo Nation and we will continue to support projects that create long-term benefits for our Navajo people,” Vice President Lizer stated.
Council Delegates Carl Slater and Eugene Tso also who represent the Tsaile/Wheatfields Chapter and Chinle Chapter respectively as members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council, also recognized and thanked NTUA, leadership, and others who supported funding and the implementation of the telecommunications initiatives.
Navajo Nation Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Office Executive Director Christopher Becenti said he is excited to celebrate another milestone for telecommunications infrastructure on the Navajo Nation. He thanked all of the entities involved including the Federal Communications Commission, for working with the Navajo Nation to allow more access to spectrum usage for communities on the Navajo Nation.
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority continues to make progress on water projects, electricity connections for homes, and telecommunications infrastructure with CARES Act funds.
Information provided by the Office of the President and Vice President