iPad ban rumors nixed at Cornell, Princeton, GWU

Despite rumors, neither Cornell, Princeton, nor George Washington U. has banned the iPad. However, there have been connectivity issues of varying degrees.

Jim Dalrymple Special to CNET News
Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.
Jim Dalrymple
2 min read

Rumors that three universities had banned the use of Apple's iPad ran rampant across the blogosphere last week, leaving some to wonder whether the device had some type of hidden problem.

Those rumors, it turns out, were false.

However, iPad owners at all three--Cornell, Princeton, and George Washington universities--have faced varying degrees of connectivity issues.

Apple's iPad Apple

CNET contacted all three institutions, and they all categorically denied that the iPad was ever banned on their campuses.

"Absolutely not," Steve Schuster, interim executive director of information technologies at Cornell, told CNET. "In fact, I checked around and I don't think we have ever banned a device at Cornell. Even when we were troubleshooting the iPad for students, the idea of banning the device never even occurred to us."

As the person in charge of technology at Cornell, Schuster said his department sees itself as responsible to support whatever devices students bring to the New York campus.

When iPads started arriving at Cornell earlier this month, there were some connectivity issues with the device, according to Schuster. When seemingly related problems at other schools were reported in the media, the IT department started checking all of its systems to make sure the problem wasn't something in its infrastructure.

It turns out that the issues, as Schuster put it, were "typical challenges anyone would have connecting their device." Since then, he said, there have been no reported problems related to connecting any device to the school's network.

The situation was the similar at Princeton. Steven Sather, associate chief information officer at Princeton's IT office, told CNET via e-mail that there has been no ban on the iPad.

"There are several iPads on campus now, and the number continues to grow every day. When the first iPads arrived, we saw there were some problems with them on the campus network. When our networking staff saw a problem they put a temporary network block on the device, as they do with all devices that are not functioning correctly. As soon as a user has addressed the issue, the device is immediately allowed back on the network and that's what is happening with the iPad."

IT admins tracked down the connectivity problem to the iPad keeping its assigned IP address even after the address had expired. Once a server reassigned that IP address another device, neither the iPad nor the other device could connect. However, a temporary workaround has since been created.

Sather noted that Apple products in general have no problems on the New Jersey university's network. More than half of the students and faculty members connect using Macs, he said, and there are a couple of hundred iPhones.

George Washington University in the nation's capital also said it has not banned the iPad, though there have been connection problems. In an FAQ posted on the school's site, the university said its problem with the iPad is that the device "cannot pass" the school's "security standards to access our network."

GWU predicts full access this summer.