Students secure safer surfing with filtered WiFi.

Posted on 22nd May 2017

A group of Business and Marketing students from the University of Chester’s Business School has conducted market research for businesses to provide safe WiFi for their customers in the city.

Stuart Paul with students Tara West, Ellen Lewis, Alice Besnier and Gina Rimmer and Mike and Beverley Smith of RDI.
Stuart Paul with students Tara West, Ellen Lewis, Alice Besnier and Gina Rimmer and Mike and Beverley Smith of RDI.

The research was conducted on behalf of RDI, a Chester-based business that created Friendly WiFi – the world’s first safe certifications standard for public WiFi for businesses   across the world. The research had the aim of finding out the views of local businesses towards filtered WiFi and being part of a standard. 

The students, who are studying Business and Marketing at the University’s Queen’s Park Campus, found that just under half the respondents from city centre businesses couldn’t confirm that their WiFi was filtered, which can leave families open to accessing inappropriate material whilst using public WiFi websites. However, most respondents felt they had a responsibility to provide safe WiFi. 

The research also showed that the majority of business participants in the research believed that filtered WiFi was important to their customers. 

Bev Smith, Director from RDI, said: “It’s really important for shoppers to look for the safe WiFi symbol to show that the WiFi will help to protect them and their families from accessing inappropriate material, which is so important in today’s digital age. We have some great brands on board, but it is important for us to understand the thoughts of small independent businesses. 

“To engage with our local University is important and it is great to see such talent in the students that worked on this project. The University clearly shows its commitment to ensure that students gain relevant industry experience. 

Stuart Paul, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University, said: “This has been a really important piece of research and the students have learnt so much about WiFi safety and its importance to the customer experience. 

“We really appreciate local organisations like RDI helping our students better understand how their businesses operate. 

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the students to get real experience how to conduct good quality research that is essential to marketing executives. This will be a big help to them in the future when they start their careers.’ 

Tara West, 19, from Buckinghamshire was one of the students involved in the project.  She said: “I'm studying International Business and hoping to go into the Marketing sector once I've finished my degree. I love the course I am taking. It's both an interesting subject to learn about and incredibly relevant to the real world. The best part about this project is that it is a real research piece that can go on my CV, and it helped apply what we had been taught in lectures, such as which sampling method would best suit our research.” 

Alice Besnier, 20, from South Wales, is studying International Business and would like to pursue a career in International Marketing. She said: “I really enjoy my course, as it allows me to develop my knowledge and apply my business skills.   

“This module was very useful because it allowed me to work with a business, and do real market research for them. This will be a great asset in applying for future jobs and it allows me to experience market research first hand and decide whether it is a career path I would want to follow. This also enabled me to discover the difficulties that can occur with market research and what aspects I would approach differently in order to be more successful.   

“I really enjoyed this experience. The best part of this project was using the information we learned in lectures and seminars and applying it to the business that we were working with when conducting the market research. I think this was an interesting experience that taught me a lot.” 

Gina Rimmer, 20, from Warrington said: “I'm studying Marketing with Business. My career plans are to find a job in social media marketing.

“The best part of the project was working with in a group of students who all enjoy the topic and find it interesting.”