City Unveils Open-Access Wireless Internet in Ten Milwaukee Parks
Project to Provide Citywide Access to Underserved Areas
April 29, 2021
MILWAUKEE—Today Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced ten parks adjacent to City buildings are offering open-access wireless internet from 5 a.m. – 9 p.m. in underserved communities across the city. The project, at a cost of more than $100,000, was funded by CARES Act dollars and is a partnership between the City’s Information Technology Management Division and other city agencies.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made affordable and reliable internet access a necessity for our residents working and schooling from home,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “Now, in addition to free Wi-Fi access at public buildings like libraries and schools, individuals in underserved areas can look to our parks as other locations to get online.”
The public can access free wireless internet at the following Milwaukee parks by connecting a device to the “City of Milwaukee WiFi” network:
- Fondy Farmer’s Market, 2200 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53205
- Reiske Park, 1640 S. 24th St., Milwaukee, WI 53204
- Galena Play Area, 3002 W. Galena St., Milwaukee, WI 53208
- Reservoir Park, 801 E. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212
- Popuch Park, 8500 N. Granville Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53224
- Cawker Play Area, 2929 N. 30th St., Milwaukee, WI 53210
- Florist Play Area, 5969 N. 84th St., Milwaukee, WI 53225
- Lincoln Playfield, 300 W. Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
And, later this year Wi-Fi service will be added at two more parks as park improvements are made:
- Melvina Play Area, 3840 N. 29th St., Milwaukee, WI 53216
- Zillman Park, 2180 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Since 2003, the City has provided free wireless access at Pere Marquette and Cathedral Square parks downtown. At the time, Milwaukee was only the second U.S. city providing free web service in public areas.
State statue limits the City’s ability to directly provide or subsidize broadband internet service to residents. The City of Milwaukee plans to expand wireless internet into additional parks with upcoming grant opportunities.
Various efforts by the Environmental Collaboration Office, Information Technology Management Division, and MKE Plays are under way to establish wireless access at Victory Over Violence Park, the Garden District Community Garden and at a new City park at the intersection of W. Clybourn St. and N. 29th St.