Navajo communities remain without web access

All of seventh-grader Nikkolas Page’s school assignments are done on the internet, reports the Associated Press, but he might find his online schooling is not as easy to do this week: His chapter house on the northwestern side of the Navajo Nation in Arizona was one of about 70 where internet service was shuttered a week ago. OnSat Network Communications Inc., the company that had provided the service, said that’s because it has not received $2.1 million in federal funds needed to pay a subcontractor for satellite time. The Universal Service Administrative Co., which administers the E-rate program, is withholding the funding because of a tribal audit that showed OnSat might have double-billed the tribe. The audit also raised questions about how the tribe requested bids for the internet contract. Tribal officials say it could be a couple of weeks before service is restored to chapter houses across the 27,000 square-mile reservation. They’ve been meeting with other internet service providers to explore their options. Utah-based OnSat, meanwhile, has offered to reconnect the affected chapter houses, if they pay out of their own pockets…

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