Holy flapjacks, yarb -- that's brilliant! I think we should immediately begin building beacons. Also, I think the beacon-builders should be given bacon, so that they may breakfast beside their beacons.
Also, you've just given me an idea for a new list. :-)
All that is required is a grid of beacons (say) 75km apart across the entire surface of the earth (including that part covered by water, for which buoys could be employed). If, say, Turkey were to require aid from Australia, beacons would be lit according to the most direct route from Ankara to Canberra. It would only be marginally slower than satellite communications, and immeasurably more dramatic.