In this article, internet of things (IoT) connectivity in rural areas is investigated. Both fronthaul and backhaul considerations are studied. First, intelligent radio resource management (RRM) and network planning techniques are discussed for IoT access/fronthaul networks. The proposed RRM scheduling approach was shown to lead to good performance in scheduling IoT devices. Then, several backhauling techniques for providing connectivity to rural areas are investigated and their cost efficiency is analyzed. Techniques based on free space optics with solar powered devices are found to be a suitable backhaul solution.