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We are looking to re-read a SciFi book we read around 1977 in the UK.

We remember it was about a society where houses were connected by interconnecting tubes. Very much a pre-Internet situation, where everything goes through these tubes. Book was about this lifestyle and the outsiders who maintained the infrastructure.

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Maybe The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster?

Wikipedia's description:

The story describes a world in which most of the human population has lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual now lives in isolation below ground in a standard 'cell', with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. Travel is permitted but unpopular and rarely necessary. Communication is made via a kind of instant messaging/video conferencing machine called the speaking apparatus, with which people conduct their only activity, the sharing of ideas and knowledge.

An excerpt:

She made the room dark and slept; she awoke and made the room light; she ate and exchanged ideas with her friends, and listened to music and attended lectures; she made the room dark and slept. Above her, beneath her, and around her, the Machine hummed eternally; she did not notice the noise, for she had been born with it in her ears. The earth, carrying her, hummed as it sped through silence, turning her now to the invisible sun, now to the invisible stars.

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