Navajo Nation getting high-speed internet

Posted at: 08/16/2013 6:56 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

For Kimberly Lee, having high speed internet is a dream come true.

"I used to live in Little Water and that's 25 miles from here, and out there the service was completely nothing," she said. 

For people on the Navajo Nation, the ability to get high speed internet starts at a new data center.

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) received a grant in 2010 to build a data center. They started building the network two-and-a-half years ago and it's almost ready for the public.

"It brings technology to the Navajo people and puts it right here," said NTUA data center supervisor, Daun Johnson.

According to NTUA, before this data center was built the only option to get internet was though DSL. Now, high-speed internet will be available to 70 percent of the Navajo Nation.

Kimberly said she's excited to have a faster connection so she can watch movies.

"Our internet service was at a crawling rate. We could watch a video and you could be sitting there or you could do a download and it'll be crawling in two or three hours later," she said.

She thinks it'll be beneficial for students, who want to do research for school,

"When I was in school we didn't have that and we'd have to drive off the reservation or go to a different campus and that's time away."

But now a better connection is only a click away.

According to NTUA, the system will be fully available in September or October. Anyone interested in signing up for the service can do so at their local NTUA office.