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Broadband access is key to ensuring robust economic development and improving quality of life. Unfortunately, the communication infrastructure deployed in rural areas throughout the world lags behind its urban counterparts due to low population density and economics. This article examines the motivations and challenges of providing broadband access over vast rural regions, with an emphasis on the wireless aspect in view of its irreplaceable role in closing the digital gap. Applications andarXiv:2108.05405v1 fatcat:mpzkfdgrxvclfnhbfxr425kxbe