Milwaukee parks offer wireless internet to help underserved communities
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and other leaders announced on Thursday, April 29 that ten parks across the city will now offer open-access wireless internet to underserved communities from 5 a.m. through 9 p.m. daily.
"It is our ultimate goal to make certain that every part of this city has both affordable and accessible Wi-Fi connections," said Mayor Barrett. "We have our city structures. We have the ability to expand that into the city parks that are adjacent to the city buildings -- and this is going to give more accessibility to residents in our city."
The public can access the free wireless internet at the following Milwaukee parks by connecting a device to the "City of Milwaukee Wi-Fi" network:
- Fondy Farmer’s Market, 2200 W. Fond Du Lac Avenue
- Reiske Park, 1640 S. 24th Street
- Galena Play Area, 3002 W. Galena Street
- Reservoir Park, 801 E. North Avenue
- Popuch Park, 8500 N. Granville Road
- Cawker Play Area, 2929 N. 30th Street
- Florist Play Area, 5969 N. 84th Street
- Lincoln Playfield, 300 W. Lincoln Avenue
Later this year, Wi-Fi service will be added at two more parks as park improvements are made:
- Melvina Play Area, 3840 N. 29th Street
- Zillman Park, 2180 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue
This project was funded by CARES Act dollars and is a partnership between the city’s Information Technology Management Division and other city agencies. The mayor is excited to make working from home and online school easier for some Milwaukee residents.
"We are systematically going through the city, specifically the underserved areas, to make sure that we can connect people with Wi-Fi at a price they can afford, which in this case -- it is nothing -- and to make sure it's there for them to use," Barrett said.
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Milwaukee has provided free wireless access at Pere Marquette and Cathedral Square parks downtown since 2003. Milwaukee plans to expand wireless internet into additional parks with upcoming grant opportunities.