There are at least two new approaches for offering Internet community, targetted towards the common man. One is the solution thought up by United Village (via Rajiv Dingra). It will offer basic communication tools and open up the Internet for entertainment.
The other approach is that of a Net PC by Novatium (via Rajesh Jain). It is a minimal PC, which reduces local resources and offers Net access and service for storage to someone who typically does not do anything more than surf the Web. With many online storage options coming up, requirement of a high volume hard disk can reduce, especially if you are not dabbling with multimedia files. In doing so, Net PC has drastically brought down the cost of a PC bringing it into the reach of the common man.
Both approaches are innovative, I am sure they make the Internet more accessible. However, this by itself will not bring benefits of the Internet to the society. One of the disadvantages of the rural places is that their problems are hardly voiced. What goes out is heavily filtered or watched by the gatekeepers, making it difficult for an individual to ask for attention from rest of the world. And the Web is the best way to do so today. We need more bloggers, more news and more information coming out from villages. Access to the Web should encourage local newspapers to adopt it. I am sure this will take time, but it is like a chain reaction. And someone has to start it.