Things looking up for AT&T customers

More bars in more places are in the future for AT&T customers.

By the end of April, the company will finally address service problems on campus.

Associate Provost for Information Resources and Technology Chuck Ruch said AT&T will lease space on the tower near Jobst Hall and the service will be at no expense to the university.

“Most of the physical details are in place,” he said. “The leases are being finalized with attorneys in order to provide the company with access.”

With this expansion, the service of AT&T will join three other major cellular companies, Verizon, Sprint and U.S. Cellular. Even though all four services are on the tower, they are not all equivalent in quality.

Ruch said he thinks with the expansion AT&T will provide its customers with better service than the customers of the other three.

“There is no question in my mind that this tower will provide better service to AT&T users,” he said. “In fact, I think the service will be increasingly stronger than the others because it will be new technology.”

As an AT&T customer, Student Senate Technology Services & Affairs Chairperson, Nicholas Swiatkowski, said he has been concerned about AT&T’s service since his freshman year.

“Not only is it frustrating that I am unable to receive service in many of the buildings on campus, but it is a security issue too,” he said. “I haven’t been receiving the BU Forewarn texts.”

Now a chairperson on senate, he said he has been working closely with Ruch in order to make sure this problem remains a priority to the administration until it is fixed.

“Signal service has gotten better over the years, but it is still spotty on campus,” Swiatkowski said. “It’s somewhat upsetting that it has taken so long, but at the same time seeing that we are this close, I’m proud of that.”

Sophomore advertising major Lex Boll said he agrees his AT&T service has been frustrating. He said not receiving service in the majority of the buildings on campus has been an inconvenience.

“I’m happy they are expanding because the lack of service I get on campus has been more annoying than anything else,” he said. “When your phone is your main form of communication with family, friends and the university with BU Forewarn, it is frustrating when you don’t get service in places you ordinarily should.”

Originally the university had a lot of doubts about the project. Ruch said the university originally believed the Jobst tower was already at capacity and AT&T looked into other options.

“The more [AT&T] dug into it, the more they figured out that there was no other way to bring service except on that tower,” he said. “We had reservations about the capacity of the tower and had an engineering study to look into it.”

Ruch said it has been four years since the university first started communication with the company in order to bring assistance to campus.

He said the reason why this issue has not been addressed sooner is simply because it was not one of the company’s top priorities.

“[Bradley’s AT&T service problems] had not surfaced to the top of their list of things to take care of,” he said. “The company has been undergoing a lot of expansion and have installed two new cell sites in the Peoria area alone. They simply didn’t see our problem as the most important.”