The basic rationale was to test whether resident-run online neighbourhood networks could be established in low income neighbourhoods and if they could be shown to bring social benefits.
One of the sites, in Low Hill, Wolverhampton, has lost momentum but the work has given rise to other promising online activity on the estate. Two other sites – at Littlemoor near Weymouth, and the area around Lings Wood on the outskirts of Northampton - are stable although they struggle to sustain active participation. The fourth, based in three villages in north Shropshire, is recognised as a very successful initiative which quickly achieved stability.
The report adds weight to claims that local online channels can be established inexpensively in low income areas, that they can be made sustainable, and that they contribute to the quality of local social life.