Milwaukee - First Fully Wireless Large City in America
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 12, 2005
||Paul Vornholt, Mayor's Office
Mayor Barrett and City Officials Taking Steps to
Make Milwaukee First Fully Wireless Large City in America
Milwaukee, WI -- Mayor Tom Barrett and City Officials today announced plans to launch the Milwaukee Wireless Initiative to provide a citywide wireless network accessible to all residents. The Milwaukee Wireless Initiative positions Milwaukee to become the first fully wireless large city in America, built at no cost to the City and taxpayers.
"This initiative constitutes a multi-million dollar private investment and I am committed to make the Milwaukee Wireless Initiative a reality," said Barrett. "It will create tremendous growth for a locally-owned company and will open the door to new jobs, job training and other social and educational opportunities." Mayor Barrett championed the Milwaukee Wireless Initiative as a big step toward bridging the "digital divide" and for the promise it brings to low-income citizens and neighborhoods in critical need of access to online information and opportunities.
The Mayor has had discussions with Midwest Fiber Networks, a Milwaukee-based company proposing to build the network in partnership with other high-profile Internet providers. To forge ahead, the City must negotiate an agreement with the company for permitting, access to conduit, access to City facilities for wireless equipment, and other factors such as service benefits and revenue generating measures.
"Midwest Fiber Network's goal is to work with Mayor Barrett and the City Council to make Milwaukee the number one wireless city in America and to set the standard for wireless accessibility," said Nik Ivancevic, Partner, Midwest Fiber Networks.
Common Council President Willie Hines stated that, "This initiative will help Milwaukee improve the availability of high speed Internet throughout all neighborhoods of the City, and work to address the digital divide by providing low-cost wireless access."
Alderman Michael Murphy, Chairman of the Finance & Personnel Committee, added, "The ability of Milwaukee to effectively compete in the new economy depends on competitive access to broadband for all of our citizens and businesses, and wireless is the wave of the future."
Alderman Michael D'Amato noted that," The City of Milwaukee is ideal for a citywide wireless network. A wireless Milwaukee will help all our business districts and neighborhoods become more attractive to a wide variety of residents and visitors."
The Milwaukee Wireless Initiative reflects a significant change from hotspots, where WiFi access is available to very limited areas. The Milwaukee Wireless Initiative would provide Internet connectivity anywhere, anytime. In addition, it would guarantee open access to other service providers.