What gets me is that people agree that living without phone or grid electricity is impractical. I have friends who live in Montana with no grid at all and they survive because her husband works in Silicon Valley most of the time.
However these same people do not see why having actual broadband is important. Then they wonder why there is a "brain drain" since they can not keep their children in the area and have to import people at very high costs or STEM careers.
Personally, I would love to move to a rural area, but I will not live in a place that I can not get unrestricted reliable high speed affordable broadband. In Paragould Arkansas, I talked with an executive at the local city owned cable company and even offered to pay for a custom package, I have no problems at all paying several hundred a month for access. His response was a simple, nope. They do not want the business. They only offer a cable internet package that does not even meet the FCC minimums for broadband and they have extremely low data caps, even for their business customers. My work vpn usage would exceed the cap, if I could even get it to connect since they are double natting everything. I asked about getting multiple service lines installed and he stated that it was not allowed. User reports for the service rate their towns internet offering as one of the worst in the United States.
Here is a way for a small rural town to compete in the world market. Invest in emerging technologies like fibre, etc. Improve the STEM classes in the local schools. There is an active trend for companies to remote their workers.