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.
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
"The scale of
the problem is very small now," said Bill Cannon, Duke technology
Duke University, Cisco and Apple do not know why the problem
is happening with the school's network. Even though there are only around 150
iPhones on Duke's campus at the moment, the problem must be resolved before
students return for the fall semester.
A computer science professor from the University of Maryland
believes both the iPhone and Duke's Internet network are at fault.
"When you set up a network on the campus, you set up
the network to accommodate the devices you can have in use," said Ashok
Agrawala, who also serves as Director of the Maryland Information and Network
Dynamics (MIND) Lab.
It is unknown if the iPhone's WiFi chips are causing problems on other computer
Duke has fixed the network issues. The University worked with Cisco and Apple to find a fix for the problems. The problem has completely gone away. The iPhone was not the culprit after all.
quote: "When you set up a network on the campus, you set up the network to accommodate the devices you can have in use," said Ashok Agrawala, who also serves as Director of the Maryland Information and Network Dynamics (MIND) Lab.
quote: "That’s because the misbehaving iPhones flood the access points with up to 18,000 address requests per second, nearly 10Mbps of bandwidth, and monopolizing the AP’s airtime."
quote: “I don’t believe it’s a Cisco problem in any way, shape, or form,” he says firmly.