Providing network connectivity to rural regions in the developing world is an economically challenging problem especially given the low income levels and low population densities in such regions. Many existing connectivity technologies incur a high deployment cost that limits their affordability. Leveraging several emerging wireless technologies, this paper presents the case for economically viable networks in rural developing regions. We use the Akshaya Network located in Kerala, India as a specific case study, and show that a wireless network using WiFi for the backhaul, CDMA450 for the access network, and shared PCs for end user devices has the lowest deployment cost. However, if we include the expected spectrum licensing cost for CDMA450, a network with lease exempt spectrum using WiFi for the backhaul and WiMax for access is the most economically attractive option. Even with license exemption, regulatory costs comprise nearly half the total cost in the WiFi/WiMax case suggesting the possibility of significant improvement in network economics with more favorable regulatory policies. Finally, we also demonstrate the business case for a WiFi/CDMA450 network. with nearly fully subsidized cellular handsets as end user devices.