Navajo chapters make do without Internet

An estimated 80 chapters of the Navajo Nation have lost Internet service and it could be a couple of weeks before they get connected again.

The chapters received service from OnSat Network Communications Inc. But the Universal Service Administration Co. cut off $2.1 million in federal funds to OnSat after an internal tribal audit questioned the company's billing practices.

Without the funds, OnSat said it couldn't pay a subcontractor. So the 80 chapters lost service last week.

Chapter officials are now looking for alternative providers. President Joe Shirley Jr. suggested they pay OnSat directly but officials say the cost is too high -- $4,875 for just one public computer a year.

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