The Milwaukee Broadband Partnership (MBP) represents the executive leadership of Milwaukee’s civic, commerce, education, healthcare, philanthropic, and governmental sectors. The MBP’s unifying objective is to achieve universal and equitable access to affordable, high-speed internet throughout Greater Milwaukee.
According to recent Census data, at least 20% of Milwaukee residents do not have a household broadband internet subscription. Existing broadband services are unevenly distributed, uncoordinated with community assets, and prohibitively expensive for low-income communities.
Convened in late 2021, the MBP has worked to identify barriers to affordable, reliable broadband internet that many residents experience in Greater Milwaukee.
The MBP aims to identify a multi-modal approach for improving broadband availability, accessibility, affordability, and adoption throughout Greater Milwaukee. This involves aligning stakeholders of all kinds, including new and existing internet service providers, into a comprehensive network focused on broadband equity for all.
We recognize the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) as an unprecedented opportunity to transform metro Milwaukee and thus provide a national model for how to bridge the digital divide. The MBP seeks to leverage local philanthropic and government resources with federal IIJA investments to transform the region and provide a national model for how other cities can bridge the digital divide.
The goal is transformative, and the MBP recognizes that no one sector can achieve it alone. Any solution to Milwaukee’s digital divide will require the alignment of governmental investments (local, state, federal) with long-term sustainability support from commercial, civic, and philanthropic partners.
By reimagining Milwaukee’s broadband and high-speed internet landscape:
Residents will have the opportunity to participate in a rich variety of resources and services related to healthcare, education, employment, and much more. The result will be improved outcomes in health, education, financial stability, and increased socio-economic and racial equity.
HealthCare, Higher Education, and Business Leaders will possess a powerful tool to recruit, support, and retain talent in a competitive global marketplace, leading to greater innovation and prosperity.
Public-Private Partners will implement innovative technologies to enhance the experience of every person who lives, works, visits, or does business in the Greater Milwaukee Area by delivering secure, cost-effective, reliable, equitable, and efficient access to services and data.
Civic Leaders will reestablish Milwaukee’s status as a globally significant city, simultaneously known for its rapid ascent during the Industrial Age and its bold leadership during the Information Age.