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Millions in infrastructure funding allocated to high-speed internet on Navajo Nation

Monument Valley Navajo Nation
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File
This 2018 file photo shows Monument Valley, Utah. Backers of legislation under consideration in Congress to create an Office of Rural Prosperity say rural and tribal communities in areas like northern Arizona often struggle to access more than 400 federal programs dedicated to economic development that are spread out over more than a dozen federal agencies and 50 offices and subagencies.

The Biden administration will allocate more than $33 million to the Dilkon Chapter on the Navajo Nation to expand broadband internet access.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the funding will install fiber optic cable in nearly 3,700 homes in northern Arizona.

High speed internet access can be very limited in many areas of the reservation.

Tribal officials say the project will allow for more remote learning, access to telehealth, and increased public safety and economic development.

The funding comes from last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and is part of the Internet for All Initiative’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.

In all, more than $600 million from the law have been awarded to tribes for high-speed internet projects.

The funding will also invest in digital skills training to improve access to education, jobs and healthcare on tribal lands.