Bookmark and Share

Get into the Hotzone

Free Wireless Internet NetworkMilwaukee was among the first cities in the United States to provide wireless Internet access in public spaces. Pere Marquette Park and Cathedral Square Park have been "freespots," or wireless access points for public use, since June 2003. Milwaukee Public Library also provides Internet service around all its libraries throughout the city.

The system is powered by an internet connection on the top of the Zeidler Municipal Building. From there a directional signal is sent to transceivers near both of the parks. Finally, wireless signals are beamed out over the parks for public use. You are now in the "hot zone".


Go to Pere Marquette Park (Third St. & Kilbourn Ave) or Cathedral Square Park (520 E. Wells St) with a wireless device. The wireless device can be a laptop, notebook, personal digital assistant or cell phone type device. These devices are required to include a wireless PC-Card (802.11b at 2.4Ghz) component and an Internet browser. 
Note: Newer operating systems, like Windows XP or Mac OSX, are designed to automatically recognize a wireless network signal. Use the instructions below to configure your wireless adapter, if your laptop has been previously configured for another wireless network or if you are using an older operating system.

To configure your wireless adapter:

Windows OS: Right-click on My Network Places/Network Neighborhood. Go to Properties. Double-click Wireless Adapter. (Or, simply click on your vendor icon for the wireless adapter in the lower right-hand tool bar.) 
Then, follow these five steps:

  1. The SSID should be set to "MILWIFI" (all capital letters).
  2. A DHCP address will be allocated automatically.
  3. The 'wireless encryption privacy ' WEP' option should be set to "off ".
  4. The network type option should be set to "infrastructure" not "ad hoc" (peer-to-peer).
  5. Restart (re-boot) the computer. This is not a requirement with the Windows XP system. You can now open a web browser 

Mac OS: Click on System Preferences from the Apple menu. Double-click the Network logo. Under Show Menu:

  1. Select Airport. Close window.
  2. Open Internet connect. Turn on Airport.
  3. At Network menu, select MILWIFI. You can now open a web browser.

An Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) page will appear. Read and agree to this procedure. You are now surfing Milwaukee's FREE WiFi Network!