This is especially true in the Great Plains and the Southwest
The Navajo phrase for cell phone is “bil n’joobal’,” or “something you use while spinning around in circles.” The phrase is based on the description of someone spinning around with a phone, trying to get good reception.
Navajo also use the phrase “hooghan bik bil dahjilwo” to describe a cell phone, or “something you use when you run up the hill.”
[This year, the Federal Communications Commission reported that 41 percent of Americans living on tribal lands lacked access to broadband; that number leaps to 68 percent for those in rural areas of tribal lands.
In 2015, the Obama Administration instituted the ConnectHome effort, a project to bring high-speed Internet to a list of rural areas including the Choctaw Nation. Since the dawn of these efforts, the number of connected American Indians has nearly tripled.]
Relative progress isn’t enough, however, and transformative change is far from swift. Terrain, accessibility, population density and poverty are some of the reasons.