The Navajo Nation has opened an $8 million data center that will make wireless Internet available to 70 percent of the reservation's population.
The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority has partnered with a wholesale wireless provider to upgrade telecommunications services on the Navajo Nation. The tribe has majority ownership of the venture, NTUA Wireless LLC., while Commnet Wireless owns the rest.
The Farmington Daily Times reports that the data center in Shiprock opened on Tuesday, with officials opening up a laptop and quickly connecting to the Internet.
NTUA spokeswoman Deenise Becenti says the broadband project is in the final testing phases and Internet service should be available to residents later this year.
Tribal officials have touted anticipated benefits in health care, economic development, education and emergency response services.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.