Calling for more competition
September 30, 2010
It seems as if the College of William and Mary is getting a few new bars in the near future: reception bars, that is. Updated antennae systems are being added around campus to improve cell phone coverage for campus AT&T users, a provider with historically substandard service at the College. It’s a overdue change, but also one we hope the College’s other service providers might look to replicate.
AT&T has been known to have particularly poor service throughout campus for years, but eventually, enough customer complaints prompted AT&T to lobby the city to install the new transmission system. Losing customers to competitors such as Verizon and Sprint essentially forced the company to improve its service.
It’s the kind of change we wish would happen to many of the less efficient services on campus, which — due to a lack of open competition — generally remain unresponsive to students’s dissatisfaction. Giving a monopoly of service to one provider — as with campus meal plans, among other services — means not only a lack of competitive pricing, but also generally poor service. Hopefully, the College will learn a thing or two from AT&T’s recent decision: Sometimes, competition can be a good thing.