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The built-in 802.11b/g adapters on several iPhones periodically flood sections of the Durham, N.C. schoolâ€™s pervasive wireless LAN with MAC address requests, temporarily knocking out anywhere from a dozen to 30 wireless access points at a time, the article adds. Campus network staff are talking with Cisco, the main WLAN provider, and have opened a help desk ticket with Apple, but so far, the precise cause of the problem remains unknown.
â€œBecause of the time of year for us, itâ€™s not a severe problem,â€ Kevin Miller, assistant director, communications infrastructure, with Dukeâ€™s Office of Information Technology, told Network World. â€œBut from late August through May, our wireless net is critical. My concern is how many students will be coming back in August with iPhones? Itâ€™s a pretty big annoyance, right now, with 20-30 access points signaling theyâ€™re down, and then coming back up a few minutes later. But in late August, this would be devastating.â€
Thatâ€™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 APâ€™s airtime. The access points show up as â€œout of service.â€ For 10-15 minutes, thereâ€™s no way to communicate with them.