Navajo Nation Brings Fast Internet to Reservation

A Navajo chapter south of Grants, New Mexico, has been working with a local company to bring fast Internet access to its reservation. The rural area is covered with dirt roads that can be impassable in storms, and tribal officials are now working with this company to bring internet access to the entire reservation. Margaret Merrill, a former student teacher, first came to Ramah in the late 1970s and founded a small Internet company after her teaching stint.

Oso Internet Solutions

The internet is an essential tool for any community and, thanks to Oso Internet Solutions, reservations now have access to high-speed internet. Located in the remote community of Ramah, NM, Oso Internet Solutions brings fast internet to reservation residents. Local ranchers and farmers know that fast internet is important for education, telemedicine, and business opportunities. The new connection also improves communication, especially in remote areas.

Ramah Navajo Reservation in New Mexico is dotted with unpaved roads, which are sometimes impassible during bad weather. In order to provide internet access to the area, tribal and school officials have partnered with a small Internet company to bring fast Internet service to remote locations. The company, named after a Navajo word for reservation, is run by Margaret Merrill, who came to the Navajo community in the late 1970s as a student. After teaching in the community for several years, Merrill has started a small internet company.

Yurok Connect

The Yurok Tribe is proud to announce the completion of a landmark project: the Yurok Broadband Project. Once complete, the new network will improve emergency communications and provide fast internet service to all Yurok residents. The project began in March when a 150-foot tower was installed in the remotest part of the Yurok Reservation, where no cellular service exists. In addition to improving emergency communications, the project will allow Yurok artists to sell their products to patrons around the world.

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As the Yurok Reservation faces a significant digital divide, the community has worked together to improve infrastructure and provide high-speed Internet to everyone in need. During a recent flu pandemic, the Yurok people were forced to telecommute and video conference for medical appointments. There are many remote areas of the Yurok Reservation that still have no reliable communications. This makes it even more crucial to improve these services to everyone on the reservation.

Starlink

The latest technology from SpaceX is bringing high-speed broadband internet to reservation areas where conventional infrastructure is insufficient. Starlink is designed to deliver broadband download speeds of 50 to 150 Mbps. Satellites are often too far from Earth to deliver reliable service, and the latency they introduce is a major problem. High latency means poor video call quality and slow download speeds, while low latency means fast connections. But the new Starlink satellites are 60 times closer to Earth than conventional satellite Internet, which means they can support services that traditional satellite Internet is not able to offer.

The service is currently in beta, which means it’s only available to a few customers per coverage area. The company said it does not plan to introduce any service tiers at launch, but will introduce them in 2022. A premium tier will offer download speeds of 150 to 500 Mbps and double the scan array of the basic plan. The premium tier will cost $500 per month, and the full payment will not be due until after the service is available.

By Olivia Edward

Olivia Edward joined Daily Reuters as an Author who monitors all the articles being published over the site for content accuracy and language consistency. She also jots down intellectual news pieces of movies for the website.

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