iPhone Cripples Duke Wireless Network

And of course after I hit Publish, I notice that there’s an update to the story (thank goodness it’s friday!) It appears that it was actually Cisco’s issue, and it’s since been patched. No details on the cause or the fix (wonder if I’ll find out in my Cisco-centric day job…?) but all seems to be well since it was implemented. How anyone could have thought the iPhone did anything wrong is BEYOND ME. Accusers will be dealt with accordingly…

Ouch! It seems that around 150 iPhones around the Duke University campus are regularly taking 20-30 wireless access points down with their wifi connectivity. The iPhones causing all the ruckus are swamping the access points with 18,000 calls per second to routers that don’t reside on Duke’s network. Assumptions are that the iPhones are looking for the default router they initially connected to at the iPhone user’s home location.

Duke has been working with Cisco who’s technology runs the campus network, which in turn has logged a case with Apple to get the issue figured out. If only 150 (give or take) iPhones are wreaking this kind of havoc in the off months at the University, it’s safe to say the potential for catastrophic network downtime is possible when classes are in full swing.

The Duke IT department who has been working with Cisco to troubleshoot this situation feels the problem has nothing to do with the Cisco hardware/software. Apple’s response has been somewhat slothful according to Duke personnel, but supposedly the condition had been escalated within Apple.

Hopefully this issue is resolved prior to fall classes (which means lots of students, which likely means lots more iPhones) at Universities around the country. That said, I wonder if other large-scale wireless networked campuses (business or educational) are seeing problems too?

Thanks to Yas for sending this over a couple days ago…