- Charter, AT&T, and TDS Telecom are the primary cable and DSL options for Internet in Milwaukee.
- Charter was formerly known as Time Warner Cable, and existing customers should have already started to see “Spectrum” branding on their bills. Pricing may change for existing customers as Charter phases out “retention pricing” from grandfathered Time Warner Cable accounts.
- Business broadband in Milwaukee offers several niche options including fiber, copper, and wireless service.
- The average Internet speed in Milwaukee is 35.38 Mbps.
Best Residential Internet Providers
For the vast majority of Milwaukee residents, cable from Spectrum and DSL from either AT&T or TDS are the primary Internet options. We generally recommend cable from Spectrum, since cable is overall more reliable and has a higher speed ceiling.
Charter Spectrum - Top Pick
- Pricing: $4499 - $10499
- Max Down: 300 Mbps
- Max Up: 20 Mbps
Spectrum offers just about the best speeds you can get in the area, and we found them to be a strong value overall — particularly for families and sports fans who appreciate diverse, premium channel packages. Charter’s lack of data caps is Netflix-friendly and makes them a strong choice for cord cutters as well.
AT&T Internet - Runner Up
- Pricing: $5000 - $8000
- Max Down: 1,000 Mbps
- Max Up: 1,000 Mbps
AT&T Internet is a solid option for budget-conscious families who need a provider with decent speeds and, more importantly, decent pricing. AT&T delivers on both fronts, and can be a perfectly serviceable option for a busy family home even if they don’t have the same raw speed as competing cable providers.
Residential Internet Providers Available in Milwaukee
See the listing below for a full overview of Internet providers for homes and apartments in Milwaukee. As you can see, the options are somewhat slim. Most locals have just two workable options.
|$4499+|| 100% |
|$4999+|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 95% |
|$2995+|| 37% |
|$5000+|| 2% |
Best Business Internet Providers
While residential Internet has some limits so far as brand options, business broadband in Milwaukee is actually a fairly competitive market. While it comes at a higher price, the speeds and technical support available makes it a must-have for any business that relies on the connectivity for daily operations. This provider won our top pick for having wide coverage, high speeds, and reasonable pricing.
Charter Spectrum - Business Pick
- Max Down: 300 Mbps
- Max Up: 20 Mbps
Charter Business is our top pick for startups and smaller businesses that want baseline services at a bargain, without sacrificing long-term scalability if they need to scale up to a larger network or explore enterprise features. All plans include exceptional 24/7 support and one of the best SLAs in the industry.
Business Internet Providers Available in Milwaukee
Options are available for every business size from small “Mom and Pops” to large industrial enterprises. Here’s a complete picture of options to explore within Milwaukee city limits.
|$5999+|| 100% |
|N/A|| 96% |
|N/A|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 88% |
|N/A|| 39% |
|N/A|| 5% |
|N/A|| 7% |
Map of Broadband Internet Competition in Milwaukee
Milwaukee is lower than average when it comes to service options. Spectrum has been improving on the local infrastructure since taking over Time Warner Cable, but the area has yet to host an upstart fiber option such as Ting or Google Fiber. For now, see the map below to explore which areas have a higher density of Internet options.
Provider Competition Map
Milwaukee Internet Speed Overview
The average speed in Milwaukee is 35.38 Mbps. This speed is verified by local speed test data accounting for all zip codes. The 90th percentile average is 87.88 Mbps, which may be a more accurate idea of what the overall Internet situation in the city looks like.
|Average Speed||90th Percentile Speed|
|35.38 Mbps||87.88 Mbps|
Average Residential download speeds within Milwaukee
Top Factors to Consider When Shopping for Internet Service in Milwaukee
Modem Rental Fees
AT&T and Spectrum usually offer to lease you a modem and/or router for service in Milwaukee. This makes the installation process simple and easy, and if you’re a short-term resident the $5–10 per month is probably worth it for the simplicity.
If you plan to be a customer with either of these companies for multiple years, however, it’s worth purchasing your own modem and router to save money on the monthly fee. Installation is straightforward, and Spectrum’s compatible routers and AT&T’s compatible routers are listed on their websites.
Cable vs DSL
What’s the difference between cable and DSL?
In brief, cable comes from TV companies and DSL comes from phone companies. Cable sends data over coaxial TV cables. DSL sends data over traditional twisted copper phone lines.
The main difference is that coaxial cable is better suited to transferring digital data. However, since coaxial connections are often shared within neighborhoods, they tend to slow down during peak usage times around 6–9pm. DSL may be a bit slower, but it’s often more consistent in terms of delivered speeds.
Ultimately, we usually recommend cable because the pricing per Gigabit/second tends to be better, and the bundled TV deals are hard to beat.
Milwaukee startups and tech industry
Milwaukee is often cited as a potential “third wave” city for the US tech industry — a term used to describe the startup Renaissance happening across the US in smaller cities far outside the traditional Silicon Valley bubble. Milwaukee has a variety of co-working spaces and is home to the VC firm CSA Partners.
Local group Startup Milwaukee maintains a website and regular newsletter for local techies to stay up to date with updates and happenings in the tech and startup industries.
Low-Income Internet Availability
Low-income Milwaukee residents can access home Internet through a variety of specialized plans from local providers. EveryoneOn makes it simple for residents to test their eligibility online. In some cases, service can be installed for $10/month for those who meet certain income requirements.
Broadband Roadblocks in Milwaukee
Milwaukee doesn’t have municipal broadband. While some residents might like to see alternatives to private cable and DSL single-provider areas, strict regulations regarding municipal broadband in Wisconsin make it difficult for that to happen.
References and Footnotes
Ana De Castro
Ana De Castro cut her teeth as a SAP consultant for Deloitte during the original tech boom, and now works in a communications role in the telecom industry. When she isn’t explaining technical concepts to confused consumers, she enjoys traveling with her husband and two rambunctious kids.
James Webb is a tech and gadgets expert with a focus on educational content development. He draws on his background in the startup world to make complicated technologies and topics easy to understand for normal folks.