Duke reports Wi-Fi trouble with the iPhone

A report has surfaced that iPhones are apparently knocking out Duke University's Wi-Fi network with an abnormally high number of requests to connect.

Were the iPhone designers North Carolina fans?

Network World is reporting that Duke University's Wi-Fi network is suffering from what appear to be rogue iPhones. Duke's Kevin Miller told Network World that the iPhone's Wi-Fi chips are flooding the university's Cisco access points with requests for MAC (Media Access Control) addresses. This is apparently knocking out dozens of access points as the 150 iPhones on campus wander around between different hotspots.

The Blue Devils are dealing with Wi-Fi problems, and they think the iPhone is to blame. Duke University

It seems a bit weird to me. No other reports of trouble with iPhones and Wi-Fi networks have surfaced, though of course it's very early in the iPhone's tenure on the planet and this may prompt others to come forward. Duke IT employees seem to think it's a problem with the iPhone, as opposed to a problem with Cisco's equipment or their network configuration. My colleague and resident networking expert Maggie Reardon contacted Cisco, but a company representative said Cisco couldn't comment at this time. An e-mail to Apple was not immediately returned.

We'll follow up on this one as we learn more about what might be causing the problems at Duke, still reeling from its first-round loss to Virginia Commonwealth in the NCAA tournament last spring. Perhaps its bitter rivals at the University of North Carolina are playing an MIT-style prank on the Dukies, but the university is genuinely worried about networking problems when students return to campus over the next month or so.

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About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.

     

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