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For a chance at success, rural areas need to start early and keep at it. Jim Cupples, director of field operations at the Precision Ag Connectivity and Accuracy Stakeholder Alliance, a nonprofit focused on helping rural communities improve their broadband access, told McKenzie, "Rural communities need to have their ducks in a row and not just reach out to their state broadband office."
Cuopples added, "The map process feels rushed to the people at the county level that we work with. I think they understand the importance and want to accommodate the timelines, but many of them have one person working on geographic information systems. How is a small county like that supposed to take on the extra burden of data collection and GIS analysis to challenge these maps in a period of months? . . . It’s obvious that the maps and process are meant to prevent fraud and waste, but with all of the restrictions and confusing guidelines, it has ended up harming the communities it is meant most to serve — those that are currently unserved and under-served."