This report is the first in a series examining an innovative social enterprise called Reach for the Clouds (RFTC). RFTC is an initiative of InfoXchange, a not for profit Internet Service Provider and web developer. It entails establishing a ‘wired community’ in Atherton Gardens, a high rise public housing estate in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Our research aims to gauge the benefits of the RFTC network. We are concerned with understanding its contribution to promoting social and economic participation, building community, and enhancing the social capital of Atherton Gardens. The research has been funded through the Australian Research Council’s Linkage programme, in partnership with InfoXchange, the Office of Housing, and the Community Health Branch of the Department of Human Services. This first report provides a concise account of the RFTC project, its social setting, and our research. We begin with the aims and context of RFTC, and describe progress on rolling out the network to date. We then outline how our own research and evaluation will proceed, before explaining our approach to two of the key problems RFTC aims to redress: the digital divide and social exclusion. Finally we describe in more detail the characteristics of the Atherton Gardens population. Our second report, released simultaneously with this one, is concerned with our initial 2002 resident survey, providing a detailed baseline against which we can judge the future impact of the RFTC network. Our third and fourth reports, which will be published in 2004, will examine the distinctive organisational features of RFTC, and compare the results of a subsequent survey with the 2002 outcomes.