This paper describes the development, construction, and consequences to date of a 'wired community' being created at Atherton Gardens, a low-income inner city public-housing estate in Melbourne, Australia. This wired community, which will comprise almost 800 households, is the result of a complex partnership between a non-profit internet service provider, government agencies, and charitable organizations. It aspires to improve the welfare of residents by creating new community interests, fostering local enterprise, and more effectively coordinating social services and support systems. Proponents of the network see computer access and connectivity as an important means of enhaving social and economic participation and self-help amongst a disadvantaged and socially-isolated community. While a great deal has been written about the beneficial effects of electronic service delivery, detailed empirical research on the use and consequences of computer networks remains patchy. This paper presents initial findings from a three-year research project looking at this new network and how it is used, its complex genesis, and its impact on the culturally-diverse population of the wired high-rise.