Countryside cybervillage goes bust

High-tech village in Wales in trouble after failing to tempt cybercitizens to move in

A UK "cybervillage", designed to allow its population work entirely over the Internet, has gone bust after failing to fill homes, backers announced Wednesday.

It was hoped that the 39-home village, constructed at Crickhowell in south west Wales, would be a paradise for workers in the high-tech age, allowing them to live their lives from the remote high-tech haven. But after running up debts of more than £1m, the creators have been forced to accept that this space-aged vision of the future might not be so attractive after all. Twelve of the high-tech homes remain unfilled and the fibre optic cables that would link the houses to the Net have not been installed.

Ashley Dobbs, the entrepreneurial brains behind the village, believed the advent of the Internet would lead to a sudden increase in high-tech home-working. Dobbs sunk £7m into the project and still hopes to attract investors to resuscitate the venture.

Although technological innovation has never been more ubiquitous, it seems that enthusiasm for all things high-tech may be lagging. A recent survey from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggests that new technology is leading to information overload. Other technology experts have called for greater balance between technological innovation and human needs.

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