The Manchester Host was an early example of a municipal networking project. Its aim was to foster social and economic development in Manchester, England by encouraging the use of on-line communications and information services by businesses, public sector and voluntary organisations.
The project was launched in 1991 by a partnership of Manchester City Council, The Centre for Employment Research at Manchester Polytechnic (later Manchester Metropolitan University), and Poptel. At its core was an email and database service, accessible locally via dial-up and via the international X.25-network globally. The email service used equipment provided by German company GeoNet. A free-text database was accessed by what we'd now call a 'search engine' provided by a company called Memex.
The project involved a number of parallel activities including the establishment of "Electronic Village Halls": drop-in centres where users could learn about the new online communications and information ("telematics") technology; and the creation of the Manchester Community Information Network. These included the Bangladesh EVH, Chorlton EVH and the Womens' EVH.
- Dr Vassilys Fourkas, The Development and Operation of Virtual Manchester(s) Dec 2002, Retrieved Dec 2010
- OECD WORKSHOP ON INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE AND TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT Paris 1996, retrieved Dec 2010
- Knowledge Politics, Manchester and ICT for regeneration Oct 2007, retrieved Dec 2010
- Steve Woolgar, Sociedad virtual?: tecnología, "cibérbole", realidad 2005
- Manchester Community Information Network website
- Manchester City Council website
- Manchester Metropolitan University Website
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