AT&T: College kids don't care about service brand

Research into WiFi service found the fastest of the free wins

NEWTON, MASS.--At a panel here at MuniWireless New England on Tuesday, AT&T shared this little tidbit on college WiFi users.

They could care less about brand when it comes to Wi-Fi service. They will pop on to whatever is the fastest of the free.

AT&T has been observing the usage of college students while researching municipal wireless services, according to Carl Nerup, vice president of development at AT&T.

As part of the research, Nerup himself did a field observation at a Berkley, Calif. cafe located across the street from University of California at Berkley. He observed college students' use of WiFi in the cafe, which offered AT&T Wi-Fi, as well as the Wi-Fi of others.

"One of our learnings of that is that college students gravitate towards whatever is fastest and free. By the way, folks, your brand does not matter. They don't care if you are "the new AT&T" or whatever," said Carl quoting his company's latest slogan.

"We really learned that lesson," he said.

Tech Culture
About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet,, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.


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