The trench running along the road linking Kodicherla and Penjarla in southern India is just 5 feet deep and about half as wide.

The government of Telangana, a state born of the 2014 secession from Andhra Pradesh after its residents accused the government of systematic neglect, is doing something unprecedented in India: bringing broadband internet to every rural home in the region, some 23 million people in all.

The service, now called Free Basics, provides a free but limited internet to rural areas of the developing world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to discuss the proposal, and the company launched the service in 2015.

Bringing that to the state s thousands of rural villages required laying pipes.

We were just envisioning and visualizing how it would be to have a state that is completely connected and wired, he says.

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