Saturday, July 21, 2007

iPhone disrupting wireless network, at Duke U

The popular Apple iPhone is turning out to be a worst nightmare for the Duke University IT staff. The Duke WiFi network is currently being crippled by the iPhone's wireless Internet adapter, even though the problem never arose with other WiFi devices.

A single iPhone was powerful enough to cause the problem, and there are 100 to 150 of them registered on the network, Bill Cannon, a Duke technology spokesman, said. Network administrators have noticed the problem nine times in the past week.

According to the university IT staff, the iPhones are distributing as many as 18,000 data requests per second to the university network -- and it appears that each iPhone on campus is requesting a router address that is not available. After the phone does not get a return signal, it keeps sending requests, which leads to dozens of access points becoming overloaded.

Is Duke running a Wireless Grid? May be iPhone is not smart enough to recognize that the gateway had changed! Or does it make the first wireless (Wi-Fi) connection the default one when in a single class C or B subnet?

Only time will tell as all involved are trying to resolve the issue, Duke wireless, Cisco and Apple.


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