In this article, the authors discuss the implementation of a community electronic network in a rural Minnesota town. The network is intended to help the community keep up with global technological progress by increasing access to the Internet. The current project compares this community approach to electronic networks with an economic, for-profit approach utilized in a nonequivalent control community. Drawing on the theory of social capital, the authors consider the relative impacts of privately oriented social engagement versus publicly oriented political engagement in relation to collective outcomes. The findings to date show that in the presence of a broadly based community electronic network, political as well as economic resources are linked to the use and knowledge of computer resources. The implications of these findings for larger issues of fair and equitable access to technology are discussed.