Conventional underground instrumentation systems, embedded in soil, suffer from major limitations imposed by their wired connectivity. Congestion of instruments and vulnerability of connections to defects due to human activities and aggressive underground conditions, cause significant cost increases and robustness limitations. Numerous attempts for developing through-soil wireless communication systems have been made recently, employing electromagnetic waves, magnetic induction techniques, and seismic waves, though none has provided a complete practical and cost-effective communication scheme. In this paper, a biologically-inspired, through-soil wireless communication system that employs acoustic and seismic waves is described. Successful data transmission has been achieved in laboratory experiments over 1 m range at kbps data rates and in the field over tens of meters at tens of bps rates. The deployment of this system in geotechnical applications and the accompanying challenges are also outlined. This technology has the potential of impacting geotechnical, geophysical, earthquake, mining, agricultural, and numerous other applications.